Population: 618703 people, of which about 30% are rural residents.
Geographical position: the region is located in the north-west of the European part of the country, it is part of the North-West Federal District.
Climate: temperate continental, close to marine. Excessive hydration, cool lingering spring, non-hot summer, warm long autumn, mild winter are characteristic. In winter, cloudy weather with frequent thaws is established in the region. In the summer, it often rains, usually for a short time (per month 12-17 days with rains). In autumn, cloudy weather prevails with prolonged fogs (12-14 days a month), precipitation mainly in the form of long drizzling rains, in November more often in the form of wet snow.
The average annual air temperature is + 4,9 ° С. The highest relative humidity is observed in the autumn-winter period, in November-December it reaches a maximum of 88%. The average date of the last frosts in spring is 18 May, the first frosts in autumn is 18 September. The average duration of the frost-free period is 143 days.
During the growing season (175 days), 400-430 mm of precipitation falls (60% of the annual norm). Summer (period from t above + 10 ° С) lasts 140 days. A stable snow cover is established by mid-December (the earliest date is November 11) and lasts 110-120 days.
Relief. In the west of the region there is an extensive flat Priilmen lowland, the height of which does not exceed 60-70 m above sea level. In the east is the Valdai Upland with separate uplifts having absolute heights of up to 300 m. Both of these parts are divided into separate sections with smaller relief forms. This is especially pronounced within the Valdai Upland.
The soil. Sod-podzolic soils prevail in the region, often waterlogged to varying degrees. Their distinctive features are the low power of the arable horizon, increased acidity, low content of nutrients and low humus content.
The area of agricultural land: 703,3 thousand ha.
The Novgorod Region is one of the leaders in the Northwestern Federal District in potato production. The development of this area is facilitated by optimal soil and climatic conditions and proximity to large sales markets. Potato growing is considered the most profitable direction in the plant growing industry. The profitability ranges from 25 to 45%. Naturally, the volume of production of marketable potatoes is growing every year. Let us remind you that in 2000 only 160-180 thousand tons of "second bread" were grown in the Novgorod region. In 2015, agricultural producers of the region produced more than 368 thousand tons of potatoes, which is 20% more compared to the results of the previous year (including the gross harvest in agricultural organizations increased by 87%, in peasant farms - by 85%). Thus, for every inhabitant of the Novgorod region this year there are 595 kg of potatoes at a rate of 95 kg.
In general, potato production over the past five years has grown 1,7 times.
For the effective development of agriculture and increasing the financial sustainability of agricultural producers, state support is needed. Measures of such support are provided in the framework of the regional State program "Development of the agro-industrial complex of the Novgorod region for 2014-2020" and the departmental target program "Development of potato growing and the creation of logistics (wholesale and distribution) centers for the storage, pre-sale preparation and sale of potatoes, vegetables and fruits in Novgorod region for 2014-2016. " Under these programs, agricultural producers of the region receive subsidies for the purchase and production of potato seeds, the purchase of equipment for storage, pre-sale preparation and sale of potatoes, vegetables and fruits.
In the region, the necessary prerequisites are being created for increasing the production of high-quality potatoes. Peasant farms of Ivan Geletey, Sergey Yakovlev from Borovichi district demonstrate stable good results; Anatoly Lipatov, Denis Pavlyuk, Ivan Piraev from the Novgorod region. Productivity in them reaches 500 kg / ha.
High rates in potato cultivation are also achieved every year at the farms of Vladimir Kondranin, Arbi Kadyrov from the Shimsky District, Nikolai Kolesnikov from the Soletsky District. Productivity in these enterprises is fixed at the level of 250-280 kg / ha.
New projects for the production of potatoes on newly introduced lands are also being implemented in the region. In the Volotovsky district, the Novgorod Potato System LLC planted 100 hectares of potatoes this year, with a yield of 300 c / ha. Next year, the company intends to increase landing area to 300 hectares. In the Solets district, Bristol LLC planted 460 hectares of potatoes, the yield amounted to 350 c / ha. Plans to increase the area to 1200 hectares. Upon reaching the design capacity, the volume of potato production will be 163 thousand tons.
For the storage, pre-sale preparation and sale of potatoes in the region, three logistics centers have been built (two in Novgorod and one in Borovichi regions), which can pass up to 45 thousand tons of potatoes. This allows us to provide the region’s population with quality products year-round, supply fresh potatoes to chain stores and sell them outside the region, which has a positive effect on producer incomes. By the end of this year, new potato storages with a total storage capacity of 5,1 thousand tons will be commissioned in the region. In 2016, it is planned to build two more potato storages in the Solets and Shim districts with a total storage capacity of 30 thousand tons.
The development of potato growing is impossible without high-quality seed material. In the Novgorod region, five seed potato farms have been established.
Now enterprises are actively developing. This year, the area under elite potato plantings was increased by 8% (compared with the 2014 level).
It is planned that these farms will produce more than 8 thousand tons of zoned potato seeds of high reproduction. The next step will be the creation of a virus-free potato seed laboratory.
Three secondary vocational educational institutions of agricultural profile and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources of NovSU are successfully operating in the Novgorod region. They provide the region with qualified personnel. Every year these educational institutions award diplomas to about 400 specialists of secondary vocational education and 50 specialists of higher vocational education, most of the graduates continue their professional activities in the leading agricultural enterprises of the region.
The main goal of the region in the field of agriculture is to reach the full provision of residents with food products that are produced on Novgorod land. In this regard, the potato-growing direction can serve as a model for the rest. The region is already fully self-sufficient in potatoes today. Next year it is planned to produce 400 thousand tons of potatoes, and there is confidence that this task is real and completely solvable.
The region has proposals for investment sites for the development of various areas, some of which are already in demand due to the favorable investment climate created in the region.
The editors thank the Department of Agriculture and Food of the Novgorod Region for preparing the material.