A prolonged drought is seriously hindering the growth of cereals and rapeseed planted in the autumn while in many areas planting – that by this time of year should be well under way – hasn’t even begun as the soil is rock-hard, the article said.
A recent analysis of the National Meteorological Service (OMSZ) said that except for a few short spells there hasn’t been almost any rain in Hungary since the end of July and in most of the eastern parts of Hungary the situation has reached critical levels. Farmers who were able to plant rapeseed shortly after the few days of rain at the end of September reported that crop growth has been slow and in the areas that had no rainfall the plants are beginning to die.
The situation is the same or worse for autumn wheat, where planting has been severely delayed and growth is also minimal due to the drought. While the OMSZ forecasts minimal rainfalls over the coming weekend, more substantial precipitation could at best come in November.
Farmers now fear that lacking enough rain, the autumn crops will not be strong enough to survive the winter.
The good news is that the same drought has accelerated maize harvesting which is well ahead of the usual schedule, with three quarters of the crop already in. The maize crop is estimated at 7.5 million tons this year, compared with 6.62 million tons last year.