Bărăgan Plain – Gold for Agricultural Strategies and Solar-Thermal Systems

  © diacritica, https://pozaice.wordpress.com/category/baragan/

Romanian Plain (Câmpia Română) is the largest plain of Romania with the most fertile soils. Years ago, it was called “The Granary of Europe”, as its high level of fertility brought important amounts of cereal crops.

The eastern area of Romanian Plain is Bărăgan Plain which covers Buzău, Brăila, Ialomiţa and Călăraşi counties. “Bărăgan” comes from a Cuman-Turkish word meaning “arid land”. This area has 4 subdivisions: Călmăţui Bărăgan, Ialomiţa Bărăgan, Mostiştea Bărăgan and Hagieni Bărăgan. Famous for its “black lands” (very fertile soils with humus), steppe vegetation and typical steppe climate (hot, dry summer and cold winter), Bărăgan Plain used to be an agricultural “El Dorado”: plenty of cereal crops and sunflower production. In association with this kind of gold, there are many legends regarding real treasures (it is said that antique treasures are buried here, and once gold discovered and not used for honorable purposes, those who keep the treasure are hit by cruel curses).

Last years brought rising temperatures and early desertification, reason for some farmers to change staple crops list: they are ready to cultivate more wheat, barley and cole instead of corn and sunflower. Bărăgan Plain is a Romanian land ready for important agricultural strategies in order to maintain its high level of agricultural production.

But Bărăgan is also an important resource for wind and solar energy, a new “sort of gold”. Exploitable wind energy is estimated at about 8 tWh/year, with an average value for wind speed of 4-5m/s, but there are periods when wind speed values reach 40m/s here. The average annual solar flux intensity is over 1,200-1,250 kWh/m2, reason for Bărăgan Plain to become one of the highly efficient solar energy areas of Romania. The potential of solar-thermal systems here is estimated at 1,434 toe/year and that of photovoltaic systems is about 1,200 GWh/year.

Though rising temperatures impliy some problems for corn production, 2012 is the third year when “Corn Day” is organized. Romanian farmers, official institutions and people interested in agricultural matters get together here to celebrate and discuss about corn culture, still the most prevalent cultivated cereal on Bărăgan Plain. “Corn Day” celebration takes place in Orezu, Ciochina village, Ialomiţa county.

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One Comment

Irina Vasilieva

October 20th, 2012

Thank you for sharing. Not to many people in your position are so gracious. Your article was very poignant and understandable. It helped me to understand very clearly. Thank you for your help.

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