Latvian crop farmers can expect good harvest this year: expert

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-29 00:40:05|Editor: yan
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RIGA, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Latvian farmers have not grown a bumper crop this year, but the harvest will be good enough to help them recover from the hardships of the past couple of years when farmlands in the Baltic country were plagued by periods of floods and drought, Oskars Balodis, head of the Crop Farming Division of the Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Center, said on public radio Wednesday.

Winter crops have already been harvested in Latvia's western regions, while in the east harvesting is still ongoing amid favorable weather conditions, he said.

"Farmers cannot complain about weather conditions this summer. The summer has been good. There will be no bumper harvest, though, as the crops were affected by a dry spell in the spring, but on the whole the summer has been good. We expect a large grain harvest. Rye and wheat are of very good quality and we will have enough food-grade grain to export to other countries as well," Balodis said.

He noted that this year's harvest will let the farmers recover from the difficulties they have seen during the last couple of years. "The grain prices are better than last year and the grain stocks are large enough," Balodis said.

Inga Freimane, the Rural Advisory and Training Center's crop farming expert from Gulbene, northeastern Latvia, informed that large farms have been harvesting five to six tons of winter wheat per hectare. "The harvesting of winter rye has already been completed in our region. Organic farmers who are growing rye for bread are especially satisfied with the yield -- they have harvested up to two tons per hectare and the quality of the grain is fine," said Freimane.

Meanwhile, Vita Cielava, Rural Advisory and Training Center's crop farming expert from the western Latvian region of Kurzeme, admitted that the situation in Kurzeme had not been so good as the region has been hit by a prolonged period of drought, which has parched the soil making it hard to till.