Next is the most expensive sowing in the history of Serbia

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Agroeconomic analyst Milan Prostran said that it was never recorded that the price of wheat was 416 dollars per ton and corn was 360 dollars. The first task of the new government is to pass a systemic law on regressing the price of so-called inputs in agriculture – regressing the price of fertilizers, plant protection products, seeds and oil, Prostran pointed out.
Autumn sowing is the period of the year when all farmers have to work hard, but also to calculate well.
Sowing costs have increased by a quarter compared to last year alone, and the uncertainty about the prices at which farmers will sell the sown crops is a problem they will think about when the time comes.
The Ukrainian crisis raised the price of agricultural products, but also the cost of sowing.
Prostran told RTS that the two countries that are in conflict account for about 30 percent of the world’s production of grains and oil crops. These, he says, are serious amounts and any conflict between those two countries seriously disrupts the world’s food balance.
It is the period in which the historically highest level of wheat and corn prices has been reached, he underlined.
“It was never recorded that the price of wheat was $416 a ton, we used to sell at $200 a ton and we were happy, never was corn at $360 a ton.” The peak that was the highest in March and April has calmed down a bit, but it is still high. Two years ago, the price of wheat was 18, 19 or 20 dinars, now it is 36 dinars, the price of corn was 13, 14 or 15 dinars, now it is over 30 dinars, these are tectonic disturbances in the food sector”, said Prostran.
Two issues, energy and food, have come to the forefront of the entire world. Those two sectors dictate the level of inflation that has worried even the most developed countries, and we don’t know how long that period will last, says the analyst.
My estimates are that prices will continue to be at a high level, says Prostran.

Who cultivates the fields in Serbia

Prostran indicates that we have a dozen rich private farmers or companies that have 10,000 to 35,000 hectares of land at their disposal, which is not typical for Europe; there are ten or 15 such people, and the land of over 1,000 hectares is owned by about a hundred farmers.
In Serbia, small and medium-sized farms dominate – 78 percent according to the 2012 census, and next year the agricultural census will be in October, and, as Prostran predicts, there will be fewer of them.
But 78 percent of the total number of agricultural farms are small and medium-sized farms, they are the most dominant in central Serbia, this is a critical point in future development, he pointed out.

What to sow this autumn

Small producers engage in “tailor-made” production in order to survive. As he says, they also have plant production, arable crops, fruit growing, they have cows, sheep, poultry – for their needs, they usually deal with natural production.
In central Serbia, farmers have a different philosophy of observing agriculture compared to Vojvodina, which is more market oriented. Because more than 90 percent of agricultural products are offered to the market from Vojvodina, said Prostran.
When it is the most fruitful year in central Serbia, farmers do not deliver more than 10 percent of grain. They went through historically difficult periods, they store food – it feeds both humans and livestock, Prostran reminds.
As he says, we are in a complicated period when we need to save small, medium and large producers – they are all in an unenviable position. As a rule, our farmers do not take loans, of the total loans taken in Serbia for the needs of the economy, only six percent are loans taken by farmers, he notes.
Prostran advocates the idea that the volume of autumn sowing should be on as large areas as possible, at least around one million hectares.
“To be dominated by wheat, barley, rye, oats.” Of all the advantages, the only one is that it has rained, and that the soil can be prepared for sowing, everything else is uncertain, the costs will be high. I am afraid that we will continue to lower the level of agricultural technology”, he said.

The systemic law on input price regression

“These days I proposed some solutions, that the state, due to the overall situation in the input sector – mineral fertilizers, plant protection products, seeds, oil, which affects the price of the final product – takes serious measures.” The first task of the new government is to urgently pass a systemic law; not the regulation, on regressing the price of inputs in agriculture, regressing the price of fertilizers, plant protection products, seeds and oil”, said Prostran.
When it comes to livestock production, it would be regressing the price of animal feed.
“This is the third crisis in my memory. At the end of the 70s, we had a big crisis with the price of inputs, in 1986 a law was passed. Then we had to soften the price shock. This is now a more drastic price shock. As a state, we cannot influence the price of energy, the price of gas, oil, but when it comes to food we can be much better organized , the state must increase the volume of the agricultural budget, now it is below five percent, without a billion in the next year we we won’t be able to go green”, he says.
He adds that food is the most necessary, food generates a large foreign currency inflow, and the year was dry and took a big toll, which is reflected in huge losses.
Corn, which suffered the most, and soybeans, participate in the total gross agricultural product with about 30 percent.
“The optimal deadline for finishing the sowing of wheat is the whole of October, when it comes to other crops, it is extended until mid-November. This will be the most expensive sowing in history and it will be reduced, which will leave, if we do not ensure the conditions, consequences for the total crop. It is important to sow more and more and that it yields, because we don’t know what the next year will be like for us”, concluded Prostran, Sputnik writes.