Romanian Wheat Production Ravaged By Drought

More than a million hectares of Romanian wheat and rye have already been damaged by drought as the country braces itself for a forecast very dry June.

Daniel Botanoiu, adviser to the State Secretary with the Ministry of Agriculture, Floristries and Rural Development Catalin Rosculete, said that almost a quarter of the nation's planted area of around 7 million hectares was affected.

Of that, more than 600,000 hectares was already 50% destroyed he said, with much of the remaining area 50% damaged, he added.

Agriculture Minister Ilie Sarbu said that the country was on the verge of declaring a "calamity state" as only 500,000 hectares of the country's area under seed had adequate irrigation systems in place, with conditions expected to worsen next month.

"It is a sure thing that June has been forecast as a very dry month," he said.

Romania produced around 6.4 million tonnes of wheat in 2008, and was expecting output of around 5.2 million tonnes this year on a smaller planted area and reduced inputs. What size the crop now? Four million?