Romanian Wheat Latest

Last season drought was the problem for Romanian wheat growers, but this winter it's lack of cash.

In terms of cultivated area, Romania ranks joint fourth with Britain as the largest wheat grower in Europe. Yields however are only around a third of what we get in the UK, averaging just 2.4 MT/hectare, and half of the tillable area is still ploughed by horse-drawn equipment.

Wheat production in 2010 is seen at just 4.8 MMT, according to Ziarul, a daily financial newspaper published in Bucharest. That's around 200,000 MT down on last season, despite more favourable growing conditions.

Although the crop hasn't suffered too badly at the hands of the Romanian winter, around half the crop has had little or no fertiliser applied this season, they say.

Production could rise by up to a further 500,000 MT even if fertilisers were applied as late as now, but cash-strapped Romanian farmers simply don't have access to the credit required, the the chairman of the Romanian Farm Producers National Federation told them.