September 7, 2007


Hungary's 2007 corn crop seen down 49 percent



Hungary expects its 2007 corn crop to total 4.2 million tonnes, down sharply from last year's bumper crop of 8.2 million tonnes, state news agency MTI reported Thursday (September 6), citing a farm ministry official.


That projection is also down from the ministry's forecast of 4.54 million tonnes made in early August.


Harvesting of corn has begun in certain areas of Hungary, with corn to be collected from a total 1.06 million hectares, 11 percent less than last year's sowing area, said State Secretary Fulop Benedek.


The corn yield is about 3.8 tonnes a hectare (ha) on average so far, but this is expected to climb to 4 tonnes/ha, Benedek said. Last year's average yield was 6.9 tonnes/ha.


The sunflower seed harvest is about halfway through, Benedek said. Average yield has reached 2 tonnes/ha on the area already harvested, more than expectations for 1.7 tonnes/ha but down from last year's 2.2 tonnes/ha. Hungary is gathering sunflower plants from 517,000 hectares, some 17,000 hectares less than last year.


The rainy autumn weather hasn't hindered collection of the crops or sowing, Fulop said.


Sugar beet will be gathered from some 40,000 hectares, down 6,500 hectares from last year. The average yield is forecast at 35 tonnes/ha, down sharply from over 52 tonnes/ha in 2006.


The sowing of autumn barley started recently on a planned 195,000 hectares, up 7,000 hectares from last year.


Farmers plan to grow wheat on 1.14 million hectares next year, some 30,000 hectares more than this year.


Rye is planned to be sown on 44,000 hectares, up by 2,500 hectares from last year.


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