Daniel invested in 200 hectares of wheat cultivation. Now it risks being left without a harvest because of the fertilizer crisis facing Romania

Daniel invested in 200 hectares of wheat cultivation. Now it risks being left without a harvest because of the fertilizer crisis facing Romania
Daniel invested in 200 hectares of wheat cultivation. Now it risks being left without a harvest because of the fertilizer crisis facing Romania

They should be plowing the fields now with preparations for the next wheat crop. But that’s not really the case. Daniel Radu has 200 hectares that he has to work. He took the tractors out into the field, but it’s getting harder and harder to manage. The lack of fertilizers endangers the entire harvest.

Fertilizer crisis kills wheat crops

Daniel Radu, farmer: It is an artificially created problem because we no longer have combines in the country that produce fertilizer. We stand with our hand outstretched to the outside, and those who sell take advantage of this and remind us. It is no longer a fertilizer and will become more expensive by 10, 20%.

What is left on the market is of questionable quality. So farmers are looking abroad. Even if it’s more expensive.

Daniel Radu, farmer: We buy fertilizer from Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romanian fertilizer. The one we have, I discovered that it is also of poor quality. If a fertilizer was 4,300 in March, now it is 5,200, for example. If you add VAT and transport, you reach 7000 or so tons. Very much.

Compared to last year, the production was much lower in 2022. So he wants to sell the wheat abroad, at least to get a better price than he would get here.

Daniel Radu, farmer: It is weaker than last year, which was an exceptional year. Between 4,800 and 5,000 tons of wheat per hectare, that’s what we did this year. Last year it was more. We had somewhere around 7000 kilograms per hectare. Where the price is better, we will sell there, but usually the wheat is exported.

From where it returns as raw material, with an even higher price. With everything costing more now, whether it’s fertilizer, fuel or labor, the price of bread won’t stay the same either.

Costel Stanciu, food association: The increases in bakery products will be substantial in the next period. Given that this year’s wheat production has decreased by 25% and the price of wheat has increased by 33%.

And in order to increase production, farmers ask for help.

Daniel Radu, farmer: Without chemical fertilizer, we cannot produce. A weak year 2022, a good year 2021, and in the year 2020, catastrophic and to be followed by another year 2023, equally catastrophic, it is clear that he will go bankrupt.

Over two million hectares of land are cultivated with wheat in Romania, and last year the production was over seven tons per hectare. If a ton of wheat is sold here at prices between 1000 and 1250 lei, for export it goes for at least 300 euros.

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The article is in Romanian

Tags: Daniel invested hectares wheat cultivation risks left harvest fertilizer crisis facing Romania

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