‘We need to raise the issue of emergencies’: how cold and drought to affect agriculture in Tatarstan

Another feature of this summer is a very low amount of precipitation

‘We need to raise the issue of emergencies’: how cold and drought to affect agriculture in Tatarstan
Photo: realnoevremya.ru/Maxim Platonov

Cold weather continues to plague Tatarstan all week. Strong spring frosts have already hit Tatarstan agriculture. In May, due to the cold weather, crops even had to be replanted. Read more about the threat of cold weather to agriculture now and when heat will come to the republic -in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

“We need to pay attention not only to the cold, but also to the drought”

As the deputy chairman of the Committee of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan on Ecology, Nature Management, Agro-Industrial and Food Policy, Takhir Khadeev, explained, the established cold weather in Tatarstan is not a tragedy. It can affect only heat-loving crops: tomatoes, berries, cucumbers. The cold weather will certainly have an impact on their growth and development. For potatoes, such weather is quite normal. As Khadeev said, for most grain and fodder crops, such weather does not have a strong negative impact on the formation of the crop. The only thing is that the ripening period of crops increases.

“I think we need to look at this problem in a complex, and not only at the cold weather, although it is not the most favourable, we need to pay special attention to the drought in many regions of the republic, and especially in the south-east of Tatarstan. For example, during the spring and the summer, precipitation was minimal in the Yutazinsky district and in a number of other areas, there is not only air drought, but also soil drought. The same picture is in Aznakaevsky, Almetyevsk, and Bavly districts. In my opinion, it is quite reasonable to raise the issue of declaring an emergency in these areas. Because there are problems with forage harvesting in the fields of the above-mentioned areas. There will be a certain decrease in the grain harvest. To date, there will be less feed from the first mowing than last year. But it is necessary to provide personal subsidiary farms with feed. At the same time, there are areas in Tatarstan, especially in the northern part of the republic, that have good results in forage harvesting. These regions and economic entities also show different adaptability to these conditions, yes, it may rained more there, but nevertheless, no one has cancelled competitive technologies. Today, rains are very much needed throughout the republic. The current weather situation should be taken as normal, specialists and scientists should develop a set of agrotechnical measures to resist drought. In Tatarstan, it happens every second or third year, drought is a frequent “guest” here. It must be recognised and measures must be found to counter this phenomenon," said Takhir Khadeev.

There is another group of factors that have an impact on the economy of farms: firstly, they sold grain crops very cheaply, and secondly, the selling price of milk has fallen sharply, to 30 or more. At the same time, it has not fallen by a penny in stores. Takhir Khadeev says that the Federal Antimonopoly Service needs to work out this problem immediately. Tatarstan agricultural producers need both the support of the federal centre and some assistance from the republic.

“And these three factors: the sale of grain crops at a low price, the fall in purchase prices for milk, as well as frosts and drought create a certain problem. But at the same time, specialists, machine operators, managers are doing everything possible to ensure food security. Today, the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan fulfills all its budget obligations, but the situation is non-standard, and therefore non-standard solutions are needed to support agricultural producers," concluded Takhir Khadeev.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru/Maxim Platonov

“Usually, there are no frosts at this time”

The appearance of frosts in Tatarstan was explained by Professor of the Department of Meteorology, Climatology and Atmospheric Ecology of the Kazan Federal University, Yury Perevedentsev. In a conversation with our publication, the meteorologist noted that today in the republic the average daily temperature should be about 21 degrees Celsius, but so far it is only 15 degrees, and at night, the thermometer drops to 10 degrees. In other words, the air temperature in the Republic of Tatarstan is 7-8 degrees below the climatic norm.

“The cold weather is due to that the region is under the influence of an anticyclone in the eastern periphery, and from there we receive air flows from the Arctic. They haven't had time to warm up and transform yet, that's why the weather is so cold. It is no coincidence that even frosts are possible in some regions of the country. And it is a unique case, because at this time of year they usually do not happen. This weather is more typical for May, but not June. Now, indeed, the cold weather has set in, and it will last for a few more days. Warming in Tatarstan will come only on Monday, June 26," said Perevedentsev.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru/Maxim Platonov

According to the KFU scientist, another feature of this summer is a very low amount of precipitation. By this time, they should fall about 60 millimeters, and, according to the Kazan weather station, they fell 7-8 millimeters. Perevedentsev says that this is too little for the first month of summer. The expert noted that they are also not expected in the near future, as well as hot weather.

“Such cold weather will certainly affect agricultural products. At the beginning of May, there were already frosts in Tatarstan, which affected the crops and especially the garden plots. The problem is not only in the cold, but also in the absence of precipitation. In May, there were only 29 millimeters. In the east of the republic, there have been none at all. This is the most unpleasant phenomenon. But precipitation is very needed in May and June. The lack of precipitation is due to that we had practically no clouds, air masses came to Tatarstan from the north, and cyclones were supposed to come from the Atlantic. We have a medium-intensity drought," Yury Perevedentsev summed up.

More than 20 thousand hectares of crops have already been resown in Tatarstan due to the cold weather

Meanwhile, 20 thousand hectares of crops have already been resown in Tatarstan due to the cold weather that was in May. At the end of spring, the head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of Tatarstan, Marat Zyabbarov, complained that too little precipitation had fallen in Tatarstan. According to him, in May their number was only 20 millimeters.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru/Dinar Fatykhov

Zyabbarov also noted that spring frosts damaged the growth points of plants, including perennial grasses, which stopped their growth and development. But in May, the thermometer dropped to 12 degrees Celsius. Crops in the Bavlinsky, Leninogorsky, and Menzelinsky districts of Tatarstan suffered the most due to the cold weather.

Artur Kazantsev

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