Bulgaria’s rainy June and July 2018 expected to negatively impact grape, wheat harvests

Critically low yields of grapes and poor production quality are expected this year by vine growers throughout Bulgaria, mainly because of the heavy rains in June and July, which caused great damage to the vineyards.

Producers in Bulgaria’s Veliko Turnovo district said that 2018 would be one of the worst for the grape harvest for decades, according to an August 30 report by Bulgarian National Television.

Deyan Zhekov, a vineyard manager in Gorski Dolen Trumbesh, said that he had doubled his spending to try to save the grape crop. Zhekov cultivates eight varieties of white and red grapes, with all the plantations being damaged by the rains.

Zhekov said that crops normally were sprayed about four or five times but in 2018 it had been necessary to spray eight to nine times, while spending on chemicals, fuel and labour also was up.

Vine growers estimate that one-third of white varieties will be marred, and some red varieties will fall by half.

The grape harvest in the Veliko Turnovo region will start at the end of the month and will end in mid-October.

On August 29, Bulgarian news agency BTA reported Radoslav Hristov of the National Association of Grain Producers in Bulgaria as saying that the country’s wheat harvest would be about 20 per cent lower than in 2017, mainly because of the wet weather in July 2018.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)



The Sofia Globe staff

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