Poland, brief agricultural news week 16, 2020
What happened in Poland last week? A brief overview of agricultural news.
Frost in soft fruit in Poland
There are no big losses in strawberries in Lubelskie region. Frost waves on covered plantations should not affect the yield of plants. Weather conditions later in the season will be decisive. It has not rained in the Lublin region for 4 weeks, the top layer of soil is very dry. Prolonged drought combined with temperature fluctuations (cold nights and warm days) can worsen the quality of the fruit.
Damage appeared after the first March temperature drops. Losses reached 20-70%, depending on the location of the plantation, variety and condition of the plants. Shrubs with short growths and poor quality flower buds have suffered the most (about 20-30% of buds remain). The least frost damage is on the Draper, Elliott and Bluecrop varieties. The most damage is observed on the Chandler variety.
Open field raspberries
Summer raspberries showed less damage to the bud base. The damage at this point does not seem as serious as in the case of tunnel raspberries. Damage regeneration will largely depend on the course of meteorological conditions. In the event of windy weather and lack of rainfall, the plant regeneration process can be significantly impeded. Summer raspberries have entered a better condition in the spring than last year, although on some plantations fungi are beginning to appear.
The situation is not good at autumn raspberry plantations. After a wave of frost, most of the growths were damaged. Plants must start all vegetation from the beginning. It is not known whether the adventitious buds on the root system were also damaged. A characteristic symptom of this type of damage is uneven growth - some shoots may grow stronger and others may grow weaker. Weather conditions in winter 2018/19 and spring 2019 were also unfavourable for raspberries in the Lublin region. In January the temperature dropped to -12 degrees, there was no snow cover. Adventitious buds on the root system are frozen. As a consequence, weaker plant growth and deformations were observed in many plantations.
Plant protection products season has started
Due to earlier start of crops vegetation this year farmers started to buy plant protection products earlier this year. Next to weather conditions also coronavirus and the consequences of the epidemy played a role this year.
Farmers are afraid that there will be not enough supply on the market. Already in February several major suppliers of those products announced that there might be a problem with the availability of those products due to coronavirus in China (in February first cases of the virus were noted in Europe). China is the world supplier of active ingredients present in the plant protection products and all the supply had to stop for several weeks.
Also the Polish farmers earn and operate in PLN and even if the products themselves cannot be imported from abroad, many ingreadients are because the companies producing ready to use products need them for the production process. The currency exchange EUR/PLN is risen in the last weeks and eventually farmers will have to cover the price difference this year.
Finally the European Union withdrowned several active ingredients from the market which means that farmers using those till now have to shift towards new products, therefore the demand for the limited amount of products is risen.
Polish Ministry of Agriculture supports export and farmers’ trade
Minister Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski requested the Polish ambassadors that they keep the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development informed about export possibilities for Polish agri-food products.
Information regarding the demand for agri-food in other countries that could result in export opportunities for Polish producers will be posted on the MRiRW website in the recently launched tab: Export opportunities (in Polish). So far info was published on Moldova, Armenia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Syria, Nigeria, Colombia, FAO.
Polish companies want to start defrosting the economy
According to the BCC (Business Center Club) online survey conducted on 14-15 April on a group of 600 companies in Poland, over 84% of entrepreneurs believe that it is necessary to start defrosting the economy.
The key restrictions which, according to business, should be stopped as soon as possible concern primarily the services and trade sector. Entrepreneurs point to:
- the closing of all hairdressers, cosmetics, tattoo parlors etc. (65.8% say so),
- limiting the operation of galleries and shopping centers (54%),
- limiting the number of customers staying at the same time in the store, market and post office (51.3%),
- limiting the activities of hotels and other bed places (46.1%),
- closing large-area construction stores on weekends (44.7%),
- limiting the activity of restaurants, cafes and bars (42.1%),
- limiting the hours in commercial outlets (10-12) available only for people 65+ (40.8%).
Below some more results of the survey:
To effectively help in" defrosting” individual industries and the entire economy, according to the surveyed entrepreneurs, all restrictions should be gradually stopped in exchange for an order to move in public space in face masks, maintaining a safe distance and disinfecting hands. It was noted that especially SMEs count on enabling normal operations and opening cafes, confectioneries, small service outlets, even by introducing restrictions to one customer in the premises. According to entrepreneurs, sales should be started as soon as possible (to a limited extent, e.g. enter an entry limit) in shopping malls. In addition, they expect the restoration of the availability of hotels, accommodation and meals when traveling on business, business trips and teams, e.g. during assembly of technological lines or running construction sites.
In construction, the biggest problem is the outflow of workers from Ukraine and other nationalities, due to the expiry of the deadlines for which they received visas / work permits. The extension of permits should be simplified and automated without leaving Poland.
According to entrepreneurs, it is worth following the experience of other countries: doing more tests, reducing the isolation of society, accelerating the return to work, drawing recommendations for medical treatment.