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Grain Growing in Romania

Grain growing has a millennial age in Romania, being practiced by our ancestors in the plains areas. This activity has registered great progress over time, making Romania one of the leaders across the continent before the Second World War; this is the reason why it is called one of the granaries of Europe. In fact, our country had a very developed agriculture, the agricultural area having the highest expanse from the European Union. It is true that nowadays Romania has the largest arable in Europe, but the efficiency is not the same; on the contrary, it has decreased dramatically. However, the agricultural traditions of our people have been preserved to this day, the agriculture and especially grain growing, having a special importance in the national economy (this way is ensured the food for people and also for animals). Also, some of the products from the agriculture are valuable raw materials for industry. Even so, the main granary of the world are USA, Canada, Eastern Asia, Argentina, South Australia and, of course, Europe. Grains are the most important crop plants in our country. First, they provide food demand and large amounts of feed for livestock. Like we said above, grains are used as raw materials in industry, plus some of them are required also for exports. Unfortunately, Romania no longer exports quantities so important, as it happened more than 20 years ago. Among grains, the most important are wheat and maize, which together totalize over 80% of the cereal production. For example, wheat in our country enjoys good growth conditions in plains, where chernozem soils predominate. It depends though on the weather conditions from each year. Corn has a bigger extension than wheat, although lately, the balance was pretty balanced, mainly because export demands. Besides corn and wheat, rye is also grown. On the other hand, barley is grown especially on the lands of the Romanian Plain, West Plain of Western Transylvania or Dobrogea Plateaus, these grains being mostly used for livestock feed. Also, grain growing has a strong influence on agriculture. Soils are deep, very fertile in plain areas, low hills or in depressions. The storing of the grains is made in warehouses and silos, in order to be kept in optimal conditions until the entrance to the industrialization process or personal use. Generally, pasta and other flour products are produced near the most productive lands. For example, biscuits are produced in special sections of bread factories. Grain growing is also considered a global problem, as there have been years in a row in which the production decreased dramatically. Therefore, there are countries in which is required to use the land for the cultivation of cereals. This explains why the production of grain was at the base of worlds agriculture. However, the global harvest exceeds 2 billion tons, of which the wheat gets only 28%, rice and corn 25% each, the rest being represented by productions of barley, oats, rye, sorghum and millet. We should not overlook the rice from the grain growing, which is a moisture-loving plant grown mainly in Danube, Ialomita, Arges and Dambovita meadows. However, for food, the wheat and rice play the most important roles, while most of the corn is used for animals (is intended for use as fodder). Regionally speaking, there are also other grains that play important roles, such as the millet, which is grown in Asia and Africa, the rye in the north-eastern Europe and so on. The evaluations attest that the cultures of cereals have the first place worldwide. Thus, 55% of the global agricultural land, respectively 720 million ha, are for grain growing. Furthermore, the conditions are usually favorable, and the agro-technical methods were improved from year to year Worldwide, in recent decades, the cultivated surface and the production of cereal crops increased. But this did not happen in Romania; on the contrary, in recent years, they have decreased dramatically. Authorities and the European Union warned us that by importing the grains, they still dont respect the parameters of a country with the highest agricultural surface per capita in Europe, our country being able to ensure its needs in terms of grain production. In other words, Romania has an agricultural area of 0.6 ha per capita (6000 square per meter), given that, overall, is the fifth EU agricultural area and the population density is less than that of other countries. By Fasie Adrian Faculty of Enviromental Protection Speciality : Agronomy First Year