Amid a promising year for Czech agriculture, many farmers face challenges due to weather and pricing. Despite the upcoming record-breaking Země živitelka exhibition at the end of August, farmers may not be able to participate in the national harvest celebrations due to the weather and low market prices.
According to Jan Doležal, the president of the Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic, the harvest started well but was damaged by rain. The quality of food-grade wheat is also a concern, and some members are struggling even to sell it for animal feed. With other crops, farmers are worried about fungal diseases. Meteorologists are forecasting a heatwave for the weekend following the rainy spell, which will only make storing the wheat more difficult.
Minister of Agriculture Marek Výborný acknowledged the lower quality of food-grade wheat but pointed out that this year’s harvest is satisfactory overall. He remarked that the harvest yields are still up by eleven percent compared to last year’s excellent results. However, the low prices of grain are a significant challenge, affecting farmers’ livelihoods. The war in Ukraine is also playing a role in the lowered prices. Doležal called for a joint European policy towards Ukraine that would help the country’s agriculture sector while avoiding harm to farmers in the European Union.
Despite these challenges, there is still reason for optimism in Czech agriculture. The 49th Země živitelka exhibition in České Budějovice is expected to be record-breaking, with over 600 exhibitors participating, the most in the event’s history. The show will feature various agricultural industries, from plant production to beekeeping.