Turkish farmers happy with snowfall

Turkish farmers happy with snowfall

Turkish farmers happy with snowfall

AA Photo

Turkey’s crop producers are happy with the snowfall across the country as long-anticipated precipitation arrived early January, the Turkish Union of Agricultural Chambers (TZOB) president has said.

According to Şemsi Bayraktar, the snow and rain throughout the country is expected to have a good impact on the winter drought, which was feared to damage newly-planted crops.

“The planting of the winter grains, some legumes, canola and some vegetables as part of the 2015-2016 agricultural production and marketing season have been completed,” Bayraktar said in a written statement on Jan. 22.

Pointing out the relatively low cumulative precipitation in October-December 2015 period, Bayraktar said there was a 30.2 percent decrease in cumulative falls compared to the average and 29.3 percent decrease in cumulative falls compared to last year. This year’s average fall stood at 138.3 millimeters.

“The biggest decrease in the cumulative fall of the October-December 2015 period was in the Mediterranean region with 60.8 percent, followed by the Central Anatolia region with 50.3 percent and the Aegean region with 46.9 percent. This figure stood at 35.6 percent in Marmara region, 27.9 percent in the Southeastern Anatolia region and 5.8 percent in the Eastern Anatolia region,” Bayraktar said, adding that the falls in November and December were not adequate for the crops planted. 

“Snowfall, which arrived early January, has been very positive for the grains as the snow will both preserve the soil’s temperature and moisten the soil, thus alleviating the concerns of frost,” the TZOB chair said, adding that the farmers welcomed the weather. 

“January falls have been our guarantee against the drought,” he said.

Although the snowfall makes most farmers happy, Bayraktar added that citrus production had actually been affected negatively by the snow due to the risk of frost in the Mediterranean region between Dec. 30, 2015, and Jan. 20. 

“Although some of our producers have been affected by the frost, it has not led to a major decrease in the nation-wide production yield,” Bayraktar said, adding that he hopes the falls to be at or above the average until the harvesting season.