Follow the recommendations of breeders, distribute the risk, and sow certified seeds, advised Mariela Yordanova, a grain and seed producer.
Close to 200 farmers and representatives of the seed industry gathered at the open-air Wheat Day at "Sortovi semena" JSC- Razgrad. During the event, held for the 18th consecutive year, new selections of wheat, barley, triticale, rye, and also shared experiences on their cultivation were presented. Farmers were introduced to the development of over 40 different varieties and hybrids in the field and the applied agricultural techniques.
Mariela Yordanova, manager of "Sortovi semena" and grain producer, gave an overview of the agricultural year. Shortly before the end of the vegetation period for autumn crops and the beginning of the harvest campaign, she reported a difficult and challenging year for the grain production sector with expectations of a good yield: "We started the agricultural year with a worry, and many of us have not yet recovered from the previous agricultural year because some of the farmers' and traders' warehouses are still full with grain, and we expect a good harvest this year. We have been subjected to heavy blows in the market and incurred high costs, so it is appropriate to consider rent levels."
This spring, we are witnessing the entire textbook on phytopathology in our fields. Viral attacks are pandemic-sized. Laboratory tests have isolated barley yellow dwarf virus, wheat virus, and a new race of yellow rust different from that in 2014 from our fields. Due to the dry winter and the wet, cold spring, we are also encountering entomology textbooks in our fields, but we do not have weapons to fight many of the pests - aphids, beetles, and wireworms. The meadow brown butterfly is also present in the fields."
Mariela Yordanova also highlighted several important factors in choosing a variety that are strictly adhered to at "Sortovi semena":
“When choosing a variety, follow the breeders' recommendations - for sowing rates, sowing dates, and agricultural techniques. Distribute the risk! Choose early, medium-early, and late varieties because each year is different. Sow certified seeds - this is the first correct step for healthy crops that will be protected from diseases and weeds from the beginning and will develop the full genetic potential."
The choice of variety, density, and sowing dates are crucial in wheat and barley cultivation, stated Dimitar Petkov, manager of "Agredo" Ltd.:
“It is best to always choose several varieties of wheat, but not like with corn - where you choose 3 corn hybrids, all from group 380. It is good to select wheats that differ in vegetation and exhibit different behavior on various types of soil. It is beneficial to have early wheat, medium-early wheat, and in places that retain more moisture, a small percentage of medium-late wheat can be added.”.
“The period around Dimitrovden appears to be a very good choice for wheat and barley sowing. From the beginning of sowing until Dimitrovden, around October 15-20, and then barley sowing. If sown in November, it would be even better. In the last 7-8 years, the weather has shown that even wheat germinated in January has a very good spike-bearing fraternity in spring, and with well-balanced fertilization and plant protection, excellent results can be achieved. At the same time, the earliest September sowings seem to be less successful.”
Hamza Chakar, an agricultural producer and a long-standing customer of "Sortovi semena", cultivates 37,000 hectares of land, as well as cattle for both dairy and meat production and calf fattening in the Kubrat region. He states, "To have a successful agricultural business, one of the conditions is to use certified seeds. The varieties should also be specified when choosing in order to achieve high results. Different years and different climatic conditions require the sowing of different types of varieties, and in this regard, we have the full assistance and recommendations from "Sortovi semena".
During the Wheat Day event, the official presentation of the company's new food brand, "Ku-Bratsko," was also made. Under this brand, family farm products from the estate’s livestock farm will be offered, including sheep and goat cheese and milk.
Traditionally, at the end of the event, a fertility ritual was performed with the breaking of a loaf of bread, as well as a raffle with prizes - wheat and barley seeds from the "Sortovi semena" portfolio and goat and sheep milk from the new brand of the company, Ku-Bratsko.