The sowing campaign is coming to a close across the country - today more than 82% of the spring crop areas, or 24.1 million hectares, have already been sown in the Russian regions, according to the regional agricultural authorities.
The large Russian holding companies have also summed up their interim results.
Agrosila, one of Tatarstan's leading agricultural holdings, told reporters how much crops were sown, how much the sowing campaign cost, what prices increased and what difficulties agrarians encountered.
On the whole the holding owns more than 253 thousand hectares of arable land, said Bulat Shakirov, Deputy General Director for Crop Husbandry at Agrosila. To date, 169 thousand hectares have been sown in the spring campaign.
According to him, now the holding ready to harvest 46.7 thousand hectares of winter wheat and 1.63 hectares of winter rye.
Moreover, about 25 thousand hectares of spring wheat, 41 thousand hectares of barley, 28.5 thousand hectares of sugar beet, 14 thousand hectares of sunflower, about 17 thousand hectares of rape, more than 3 thousand hectares of corn, 337 hectares of buckwheat have been planted this season.
Besides, "Agrosila" planted 500 hectares of durum wheat.
"To date, Barilla has built a durum wheat mill for pasta in Russia. Our target audience is precisely this company. This year we have 500 hectares of this crop," Shakirov said.
FINANCING AND A RISE IN THE COST OF SEEDS
We have 18 production complexes and our own tractor fleet.
A representative of Agrosila said the emphasis is on digital technology and, in general, according to him, "digital" is nowhere as actively developed as in agriculture.
"The holding has spent 3.7 billion rubles to prepare for the spring field work, which is 260 million rubles more than last year. This money was used to buy plant protection products, fertilizers, performed repairs and purchased equipment," he said, adding that the costs have also increased due to higher prices for fertilizers and seeds.
WEATHER SETS THE PACE
Trouble came in November, when a 26-degree frost hit the country but snow did not fall. This led to the death of winter crops in several areas in the area of 3.7 thousand hectares. Spring wheat was sown instead, Shakirov said.
In May, in contrast, farmers were faced with a 35-degree heatwave that lasted about ten days.
"As a rule, at this time we only proceeded to the active phase of protection, and this year we are ahead of the weather, because about 10 days there was a heat wave to 35 degrees. The phase of plant development is jumping too fast because of it. Nature is setting the pace," added the representative of the company.
Strong heat is accompanied by lack of precipitation. For example, Shakirov called the situation in the Zainsk and Aznakaevo districts tough weather, where only 6 millimetres of precipitation fell instead of the usual 60.
In the near future the agrarians of "Agrosila" will probably have to deal with another plague - an infestation of caterpillars. Already now years of meadow moths are observed in Tukayevsky district.
"We have no right to fight the moths in the daytime, so we planned to treat them when the caterpillars appear in the fields, about 5-6 days later. Basically, we will protect the first to suffer. It's sugar beet and legumes," explained Shakirov.
EXTINCTION OF BEES
The worldwide endangerment of bees has been at issue for several years. Not only ecologists are raising the issue, but even Hollywood is talking about it.
Asked what measures the holding company takes to prevent bee poisoning, Shakirov said they buy only low-risk herbicides.
"The company has never purchased and will never purchase the kind of herbicides that will do the most to kill bees. It is always class three. We never allow ourselves to purchase Hazard Class 1 or 2 drugs," he said.
Besides, Agrosila representative said that the company notifies the population about the treatments by all possible means, including local media and messenger groups.
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Author: Ksenia Gustova