How winter gardens have wintered; are the fields ready for spring sowing?

How winter gardens have wintered; are the fields ready for spring sowing?
How winter gardens have wintered; are the fields ready for spring sowing?
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The past season turned out to be very challenging for grain growers due to the extreme natural conditions and price fluctuations and brought losses to the economic activity. The owners admit that it would be very difficult to endure another such season. Before the Easter holidays, vegetation had recovered in almost all of Latvia, which makes it possible to assess the health of the crops. We asked the grain farmers how the winter crops had survived and how ready the soil was for spring work.

The situation is good, but not ideal

Đirts Ozols, LPKS “LATRAPS” ​​board member:

Kailsals in Kurzeme and Zemgale did not cause significant damage, because the fields were covered by a snow cover earlier, and the air temperature was not as low and the temperature fluctuations were not as drastic as in the eastern part of Latvia. The situation is good, but not perfect. Winter wheat and barley overwintered best, but the winter rape crops in Kurzeme and Zemgale have also fared differently. In some places, almost 100% of the rapeseed has overwintered, but in some farms up to 50% of the rapeseed areas have died and will have to be replanted. In general, the situation is not critical – 10% of rapeseed crops could have died in Zemgale, while 15-20% in Kurzeme.

Not only frost, but also forest animals, mostly deer, which not only feed on the sown plants, but also graze crops and snow cover, have caused significant damage to the winter crops in the western part of Latvia. The impact of wild animals is most felt in Kurzeme.

The slow spring is favorable for the development of cereals – moderate temperatures ensure slower growth of the surface part of the plant, which gives the plant the opportunity to strengthen its root system. Currently, farmers are waiting for warmer natural conditions to start fertilizing winter crops. The daily average air temperature required for this is 5 degrees. It is expected that in Kurzeme and Zemgale winter fertilization and spring sowing could begin at the very end of March or the beginning of April.

Considering the challenges of the past year, the situation on the eve of the new season is not easy for farmers. Weather wise we need one good year! However, it is currently too early to draw conclusions about the harvest because there are still spring frosts ahead, which may affect crops even in May, and the amount of precipitation in spring is also important. Farmers should remember that it is worth insuring their crops against various risks caused by natural conditions.


The article is in Latvian

Tags: winter gardens wintered fields ready spring sowing

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