Rainy December Jeopardizes Winter Grain Harvest

Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
12/21/2011 2:03 PM
Category: Economy

A large proportion of grain fields in Estonia are soaked, leaving winter crops oxygen-deprived, said Peeter Viil, agricultural scientist.

This is due to the fact that around half of the country, especially the western and eastern regions, have encountered extraordinary rainfall in December, Viil told Saarte Hääl, adding that currently the harvest of winter rye is most at risk.

According to Viil, the supply of nutrients is around 10 to 15 percent lower than last year, caused by lack of sunlight and excessive soil dampness that prevents aeration. 

Warm winters are nevertheless a rather common phenomenon in Estonia, said Viil. The onset of winter has been markedly delayed, with above-zero temperatures prevailing into December, 11 times in the last 15 years, he said.

What makes this year exceptional, however, is that there has not yet been a proper night frost, Viil said.


Ingrid Teesalu

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