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21 April 2023, 19:14

Results of Belarusian ‘winter corn' experiment analyzed

Leonid Zayats
Leonid Zayats

MINSK, 21 April (BelTA) – Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Leonid Zayats talked to reporters about results of the experiment, as part of which some corn fields of the agricultural enterprise Agrokombinat Dzerzhinskiy were not harvested and had to survive the winter, BelTA has learned.

Leonid Zayats said: “From the technical point of view Agrokombinat Dzerzhinskiy is well-equipped and has the ability to promptly perform all kinds of field work and harvest operations. However, during the corn harvest period in 2022 it experienced very strong precipitation and the soil was oversaturated with moisture. Due to technical reasons we couldn't harvest these fields because expensive harvesters require care in their operation and we couldn't ruin them in those weather conditions. Back then we approached the head of state with a request to leave this field till spring and harvest it in 2023 as an experiment. The president okayed the idea and ordered to leave 5-6ha of corn fields without harvest all over Belarus for the winter as an experiment.”

Leonid Zayats said that about 2 million tonnes of corn is harvested in Belarus every year in various weather conditions. This is why it is very important to acquire such practical experience that could be used in Belarus.

“With the head of state's permission we left a total of 72ha of corn without harvest all over Belarus and kept an eye on the crops in November-April. Some of the crops had to be harvested in December-February because the number of wild hoofed mammals (elk, deer) had increased considerably and they had been stomping these crops flat,” the official explained.

Minsk Oblast agricultural enterprises left 16ha of corn fields without harvest. However, before the crops were harvested, the veterinary service examined samples of this corn in labs.

Leonid Zayats went on saying: “Results indicated that the moisture content of this corn was 15%. The moisture content of the corn harvested in autumn 2022 was 43-35%. It would have been necessary to spend a lot of electricity and natural gas to improve the corn up to specified levels. It would have resulted in higher prime costs of the grain.”

In his words, a microtoxin analysis of the corn found no harmful substances that could have a negative effect on animal husbandry.

“There was one microtoxin, which content exceeded the norm by 5-7% but no trace of it was found in compound feed. This is why if an agricultural enterprise has a lot of corn still standing and the weather is unfavorable, it can postpone harvesting till spring to avoid damage to agricultural machines. But it should be done only as an exception when the circumstances truly demand it. You'd better harvest corn the year it is sown,” the deputy prime minister of Belarus summarized.

Corn harvesting from the experimental fields will be fully completed today.

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