Country Listing

Romania Table of Contents


Major Crops

Corn and wheat (predominantly of the winter varieties) occupied nearly two-thirds of all arable land in the 1980s and about 90 percent of all grain lands. Corn, the staple of the peasant diet, was grown on 3.1 million hectares in 1987, while wheat was sown on 2.4 million hectares. Other important grains included barley (560,000 hectares), oats (70,000 hectares), rice (47,000 hectares), and rye (42,000 hectares). Among the major nongrain crops, the most widely grown in 1987 were hay (870,000 hectares), sunflowers (455,000 hectares), potatoes (350,000 hectares), soybeans (350,000 hectares), sugar beets (271,000 hectares), feed roots (70,000 hectares), corn silage (50,000 hectares), and tobacco (35,000 hectares). Wine and table grapes were widely grown, but the best vineyards were in Moldavia. Romania had gained a reputation for fine wines as early as the nineteenth century, and subsequently became one of the major producers of Europe.

Thanks to the increased use of fertilizers and plant-protecting chemicals and the expansion of arable land area through irrigation and drainage, grain output rose steadily from only 5 million tons in 1950 to between 20 and 30 million tons in the 1980s. How much grain was produced in the late 1980s was unclear because official figures had become unreliable. The Romanian government reported a 1987 grain harvest of more than 31.7 million tons, a record amount and far larger than the 1985 harvest of 23 million tons. The United States Department of Agriculture, however, estimated the 1987 harvest at only 18.6 million tons--well below the harvest of 1985.

Data as of July 1989