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Torrential Rains Affect Romania Crops

05 July 2012

ROMANIA - The agricultural areas in Romania received abundant precipitation from mid-May onwards. Cumulated rainfall exceeded by 50-300 per cent the long-term average.

In June, hot days (Tmax>30°C) occurred more often than normal in South Romania, causing problems in the grain filling of winter wheat and barley. The moist and warm weather generated favourable conditions for different plant diseases. A decrease of grain quantity and quality is expected for winter wheat and barley.

Cumulated precipitation was generally higher than 80 mm during the period of analysis with typical values of 100-150 mm, even exceeding 200 mm in some places. Exceptions were some limited areas with below-average rainfall along the south-western and north-eastern border of Romania.

The abundant precipitation saturated the soil and provided good conditions for growth of maize and sunflower, though the water excess caused damages locally and led to crop decay and destruction. Additionally, the wet soils hampered the access to fields and delayed spraying and weed treatment. The lack of adequate pest control increased the rate of fungal infections which could cause further problems.

Thermal conditions were below average in the last dekad of May, but improved considerably in June. Daily maximum temperatures frequently exceeded 30°C in the southern regions like Sud-Est, Sud-Muntenia and Marcoregiunea Patru regions, resulting in 3-10 hot days in the first half of June that induced unfavourable conditions for the cereals being in the grain-filling phenological stage.

Spring crops, primarily maize and sunflower, have welldeveloped dense canopies, indicating above-average biomass accumulation and a high yield potential. The crop development of sunflower, potato, spring barley, and winter wheat has been significantly anticipated, while maize is at seasonal average.

The current yield forecast has a lower reliability than usual at this time of the year, because, due to the uncommon precipitation distribution and patterns, hardly any similar year could be found during the statistical scenario analysis.

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