Agricultural enterprises in all regions of the country have begun harvesting potatoes from 25,3 thousand hectares, which is about two hectares less than the field in 2019. Mass cleaning has just begun, the task, as of September 2, has been completed by 3 percent. Almost 27 thousand tons have been accumulated. Productivity - 313 centners per hectare. Minsk region is among the leaders in terms of harvesting rates - almost 50 hectares, about 6 percent to the plan. 15 thousand tons have been dug up. The highest growth is demonstrated by the farms of the Mogilev region: more than 3 thousand tons were harvested on 4 percent of the area with a yield of 455 centners per hectare. According to the forecasts of the Scientific and Production Center of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus for potato and horticulture, despite the fact that while there is a lag from the indicators of the beginning of last autumn, we will not be left without a second bread, and part of the volume, as in the past seasons, will be exported. In total, it is planned to produce 1,1 million tons of potatoes in agricultural organizations and peasant (farmer) households, which means that they will ensure the level of last year.
- It never happened that there was a shortage of potatoes in Belarus. There was always a surplus of a quality product that successfully covered all the needs of the domestic and foreign markets. The situation will not change this time either, in spite of the fact that during the whole season, practically at all points studied by us, there was a lag in crop accumulation compared to the last year. This was predictable due to specific weather conditions: in the second half of April, when potatoes were planted, the soil warmed up to 10-14 degrees, and in May, a sharp cooling, in some frost regions, the soil temperature dropped. This significantly delayed seedlings - by 2-3 weeks. The vegetation has shifted for the same period. But thanks to the fact that in the second half of August the weather improved, moderate temperatures were established, there was enough moisture in the soil - the situation changed. Where all the protective measures were carried out, the tops remained in working condition, there were significant increases, the backlog was restored for a number of varieties. Our forecast based on observations is that the harvest is at the level of last year, ”said Vadim Makhanko, Director General of the Scientific and Practical Center of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus for Potato and Fruit and Vegetable Growing.
So far, large specialized farms with large planting areas have begun harvesting. The potato yield in agricultural organizations of Mogilev, Vitebsk and Minsk regions is higher than the national average by 61,2, 38,3 and 8,7 centners per hectare, respectively. One of the leaders in the Mogilev region, along with the Diana farm in the Shklov district, the Gigant farm in the Bobruisk district, and the Volunteer state farm in the Klichev district is OJSC Rassvet named after P. K. Orlovsky in the Kirov district. They are engaged in potato cultivation on an industrial scale: this year they have allotted 300 hectares.
- We started cleaning a few days ago. The yield is 400-420 centners per hectare, and last year the average for the farm was 350. But you need to understand that only 12 hectares have been dug so far, and these are too modest volumes to be indicative, ”comments the first deputy director of Rassvet named after P K. Orlovsky "Alexander Zhilinsky.
However, scientists assure: in farms that are seriously engaged in growing potatoes (there are such in all regions of the country), despite the vagaries of the weather, they know how to get a high yield. This season should be no exception. The weather and a slight reduction in the area for planting, thanks to a set of measures (correctly selected varieties, quality of seeds and compliance with all technological regulations), which are strictly implemented at all large-scale enterprises, will not have a particular effect on the overall result.
In the main department of plant growing of the Ministry of Agriculture, they add: the main volumes of product production in the public sector of the country - about 60 percent - are concentrated in 243 large-scale organizations.
- Every year, farms of all categories grow about 6 million tons of potatoes. This year, despite the prevailing difficult meteorological conditions, a good harvest has been formed. The highest yield - at the level of 30-40 tons per hectare - is expected on the cohesive loamy soils of the Minsk, Mogilev and Vitebsk regions, - said Tatyana Karbanovich, deputy head of the main department of crop production of the Ministry of Agriculture.
As already noted, the expected harvest this year is 1,1 million tons. The volume will provide not only the needs of the republic's domestic market, but also free resources, including for export supplies. The conditions for storing the product are optimal - storage facilities with a capacity of 775 thousand tons have been created.
It is predicted that of the volume produced in the public sector, 185 thousand tons will go for seeds, 200 thousand tons - for industrial processing. The laying of stabilization funds for the off-season will begin on 15 September. Part of the 180 thousand tons intended for trade and public catering will go to these needs. Over 530 thousand tons are planned to be sold at markets and traditional seasonal fairs, through branded chains of farms, shops and exported.
By the way, more than 350 thousand tons were exported last year. Bulba was sold in 18 countries of the world, including Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Serbia, Turkey, Macedonia, Georgia.