Record grain harvests predicted

Grain threshing started in Zemgale on Thursday and the first harvesters rolled on fields of winter wheat in the Jaunpils region. Farmers think that the circumstances are good this year for the greatest harvest in 10 years, while the real harvesting season will start after a week or two in the whole of Latvia, and of course obstacles for a huge harvest may still arise, reported Latvian Television on Thursday.

The Joži farm always starts threshing grain the first - owner Gunvaldis Sproģis said it's because of the special sort of grain they grow in the farm. 

Winter grains take up about 320,000 hectares of land in Latvia this year - 33% more than last year. The best soil for farming grain is in Zemgale and Kurzeme where the yields can be up to six tons from a hectare. 

This isn't the case in the rest of Europe, said Ivars Ādamsons, a farmer from the Vidzeme region. "A good harvest in Latvia doesn't mean a good harvest in Western Europe. We are tied to European prices, which aren't that bad for us, as the harvest won't be as great elsewhere."

Last year's harvest was also quite something, though prices were low, making farmers think whether it's really worth to work in such a saturated market. Now it's a different story altogether.

"The prices are fluctuating. Two weeks ago it was 200 euro for a ton, in the last few days 190 euro. It's about 30 euros more than last year. Everything - both the harvest and the prices - is so good that we can start the harvest with joy in our hearts," said Juris Lazdiņš, chairman of the Zemnieku Saeima association. 

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