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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moldova Harvest Poor

KISHINYOV, Moldova () -- Moldova's grain harvest slumped below one million tons this year from 2.5 million in 1993 as crops withered in the fields due to a severe drought and heat wave, an agriculture ministry official said Tuesday.


"Even old men who had to live through the horrible drought of 1946-47 ... cannot remember such dry weather and such intense heat," said Agriculture Ministry press officer Veniamin Balan.


The harvest has been completed in the former Soviet republic. Average yields fell to 2.15 tons per hectare from 4.28 tons last year, he said. Local newspapers said yields in some southern areas were as low as 0.5 or 0.6 tons per hectare.


Balan said temperatures reached 35 or 37 degrees Celsius in the shade on some days. Rain has fallen only three or four times since the spring.


No official data have been released on likely 1994 grain import requirements but officials have forecast imports of up to 500,000 tons.