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Alföld farmers begin irrigation of wheat early

While it is still April, a number of farmers in the Alföld (Great Plain) region have begun the irrigation of the wheat crop already, due to the drought that has been going on for months and which may result in a significant hit to revenues, with an expected 15% lower crop yield.

Andrea Major, head of the grain control branch at state-owned warehousing firm Concordia Közraktár Zrt., notes that the precipitation of the last few days has not ameliorated the drought conditions that have been plaguing Hungarian agriculture since last fall, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal. This is causing unexpected costs for farmers already hit by expected 15% lower yields of wheat and barley.

Even so, the crop quality may still turn out to be good, according to Major, who notes that the dry, warm weather is beneficial for the integration of protein into grains, especially wheat, while wet weather facilitates the integration of starch. This, she explains, means that while Transdanubian wheat with a lower gluten content may suffer, the weather may favor Alföld types of wheat with a higher gluten content.

Concordia CEO Gábor Halmos notes that the firmʼs partners are worried about the summer season due to the uncertain prospects for both quality and quantity. In times like these, storing the produce may gain importance, as it can prove a useful method to wait until prices increase. The CEO adds that due to long-standing traditions of grain production and trade in Hungary, the tools to compensate for weaker years such as this are readily at hand.