Over 6 percent of Romania’s wheat harvest has already been destroyed by field mice, who ate the wheat directly from the fields, causing damages worth EUR 40 million, said Viorel Matei, president of the Federation of Romanian Agricultural Producers (FNPAR).
“Nearly 6-7 percent of our wheat harvest for this year has been eaten by field mice. This year there was an explosion in mice numbers. It was unbelievable, attacks like we haven’t seen before”, according to Viorel Matei.
Matei argues that mice overran crops because in the last year Romanian authorities placed an interdiction on all pest control, since products used by Romanian farmers are not EU approved.
According to his calculations, out of 6.8 million tonnes of wheat, 400,000 where eaten by mice, causing EUR 40 million in damages, at an average price of EUR 100 / tonne.
The ministry of Agriculture reports that Romania will produce 7.37 million tonnes of wheat this year, up from 7,34 million last year, but Matei dismisses the number.
“The estimates were made at the start of the harvest, when we collected 15-20 percent of crops and indeed, production was high (…) After that, the rains came and yields dropped from over 5,000 kilograms / ha to 4,200 / ha, a third wave of rains followed and yields dropped further to 1,800 kg/ ha”, the federation official said.
Given these conditions, the real value of wheat production is 6,8 million tonnes, out of which only 6,4 million tones survived after mice attacks.