December 23, 2011


Dry weather threatens Bulgaria's grain harvest



Bulgaria is likely to face a grain crisis in 2012 because of an unusually dry month of November 2011.


This past November was the driest month ever recorded by the Bulgarian weather service, and the drought, combined with low temperatures, has posed a risk to grain, crops, particularly cereals. The problem will already be felt in the spring.


The weather continued to be warm in the country on the weekend. Temperature records were registered in some cities. According to the Meteorology Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the highest air temperatures were in Veliko Tarnovo, north of the central part of the Stara Planina mountain range. The thermometer showed a mid-December record of 19.2 ºС there. Air temperature was as high in the city of Pleven, which lies north of Veliko Tarnovo.


Abnormally high air temperatures on December 8-18 and excessive warmth in the end of the fall led to a larger portion of the crop that has achieved the three-leaf and tillering stages.


A significant drop predicted in air temperature will slow wheat and barley growth all over the country. The weather will become like winter on December 20-23. After the long autumn drought, snow and rain are expected to fall, increasing the soil moisture content.


Meteorologists have not yet forecast a next period of critically low temperatures for winter crops.

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