Serbia, Farmers save on mineral fertilizer

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The president of the Independent Association of Farmers of Serbia, Jovica Jakšić, said today that due to the high cost of mineral fertilizer for autumn sowing, its use has been reduced to 40 percent of the sown areas, which will affect the yield if the deficit is not compensated in the spring.

“Due to the lack of money, agricultural producers were forced to save on mineral fertilizer in the most expensive harvest so far. I sowed 200 hectares of wheat, and reduced the use of basic, mixed fertilizer by about 25 percent”, said Jakšić.

He added that agricultural producers mostly used their own, undeclared seeds for sowing wheat, which can also affect yield reduction.

Jakšić said that it is uncertain how the prices of mineral fertilizer will move in the spring, which now costs around 110 dinars per kilogram and is three times more expensive than in the fall of 2021. As he said, it depends on its price whether the lack of fertilizer at sowing can be compensated in the spring.

He said that there are unofficial announcements that the mineral fertilizer “urea” could become cheaper in the spring of 2023 and enable farmers to make up for the deficit during sowing with two supplements.

“On the fields, where full agrotechnics are applied, the reduction of fertilizers in one year will not have too much impact on yields, but on other fields, the crop can be reduced by up to 50 percent”, said Jakšić.

He pointed out that the yield of wheat in the next year will crucially depend on the price of mineral fertilizer in the spring.

Jakšić said that since the export of wheat from Ukraine was made possible on the domestic market, the price of that agricultural product and corn has been falling, and that the price for domestic producers has now dropped by about 15-20 percent and they cannot get rid of surpluses.

He added that this year, despite those problems, about 750,000 hectares were sown with wheat, or about 20 percent more than last year, primarily because of the fear of spring drought, which can be fatal for spring crops, so autumn sowing is resorted to on the largest possible areas.

According to the President of the Association of Agricultural Producers “Stig” Nedeljko Savić in that part of Serbia, about 30 percent of farmers did not use basic mineral fertilizer when sowing because of its high price, reduced yield of corn and soybeans due to drought and the inability to pay off debts.

“A number of farmers did not use mineral fertilizer, counting on the fact that if there is a drought in the spring, it is not worth it even if the maximum amount of fertilizer is used. If there is no drought, they think that they can make up for the deficiency from autumn sowing with two supplements”, Savić said.

In Banat, according to Dragan Kleut, president of the Federation of Farmers’ Associations of Banat, the use of basic fertilizer for wheat sowing has been reduced to 50 percent of plots.

“There are also farmers who did not add fertilizer because they have no money, since we do not receive any subsidies from the state, and due to the ban on the export of wheat and corn, we could not sell surpluses. This also affected the drop in the prices of our products, while the prices of all raw materials and energy are growing”, Kleut said, Novi Magazin writes.

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