The corn harvest in Serbia will not be affected by this summer’s heat waves, the Beta news agency said on Monday quoting agriculture experts who said the yield will be around eight tons a hectare.
Zita Srbije farmers’s association CEO Vukosav Savkovic said that there were 970,000 hectares of land under corn with an expected yield of some 7.8 million tons. “The high temperatures won’t harm the corn harvest, except in small areas which got no rain at all,” he said, adding that the harvest could begin in mid-September.
Savkovic said that Serbia could have a surplus of three million tons of corn to export. Agriculture expert Milan Prostran was more cautious in his estimates. “The drought in some small areas won’t cause too much damage but there are risks until the harvest is brought in,” he said.
Prostran said that the corn harvest accounts for 15-20 percent of overall agriculture production but it will mostly be export as raw material because the processing industry has not been revived and the cattle industry has not been developed to the point that corn can be used as feed.
The head of a local farmers’association in the town of Pancevo Jovan Negovan said that hail had damaged a lot of the corn crop in that area. He warned that every rain was followed by a storm over the summer which means that there are risks before the harvest is brought in.