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11 Jun 2019

Belarus weather forecast service comes under criticism

Belarus weather forecast service comes under criticism

MINSK, 11 June (BelTA) - Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko instructed the President Administration to look into the work of Belhydromet, the national center for hydrometeorology, control of radioactive contamination and environmental monitoring, as he announced new appointments, BelTA has learned.

Speaking about the situation in the regions, Aleksandr Lukashenko touched upon agriculture. He expressed the hope that the weather will be good for the harvest noting that Belarus is not always lucky in this regard. The head of state has questions to the work of Belhydromet. In his opinion, the center is not coping well with its responsibilities.

“The time has come for some action. We need to either disband it or shake it up. Their weather forecast is 50-70% accurate at the very best. We do not need such weather forecasts. I trust the military more. They know the weather real-time, they know where it rains in the country and what will happen in the next 12 hours. Their forecasts are almost 100% accurate, however short-term. We need to know what happens, what weather we will have tomorrow or the day after,” the president said.

The president noted that given the lack of rain he is concerned over the harvest in some regions, particularly in the central part of the country. “Here the situation is very serious. We will have problems in the eastern, western and central parts of the country depending on the soil. On light soils crops have started going yellow. So we should harvest them in time. Now hay harvesting is in progress,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “We need to think things through in plant growing given the weather. We should not let a single crop go wasted,” he added.

The head of state recalled that the harvest was poor last year. The country has emptied almost all grain and forage reserves. “If we have to use grain crops as forage, we will need to make up for grain. I have great hopes on corn. It is growing well in all parts of the country (I am monitoring this), even on sandy soils. I suggest we make an emphasis on corn,” the head of state noted.

The president emphasized the importance of using the proven corn conservation technology. “Livestock likes this fodder. Conservation will be cheaper than drying by some 25-30%. In fact, corn is similar to other grain crops in efficiency and production costs. We need to pay close attention to corn. All the other unused lands should be planted with annual and other crops. To sum this up, fodder conservation is a matter of crucial importance which is still considered as a low priority,” the president said.

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