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soil sustainable use in moldova

Soil sustainable use in Moldova

Mihail Rurac,

Acociate Professor, State Agrarian University of Moldova

Infinity Erasmus Mundus Postdoctorate at The Departament of Soil Sciences and Agrochemistry

[email protected],

GSM: +372 56 17 3874



About Moldova

Natural conditions and soils

Soil use in Agriculture

Current state of soils in Moldova

Next step towards more sustainable use of soils

the world famous milestii mici largest wine cellar by number of bottles
The cellars of the MilestiiMici wine-making plant in Moldova contain over 1.5 million bottles of wine. The bottles are stored in 55 km (34 miles) of underground galleries excavated in lime mining operations. The first bottle was stored in 1968, and new vintages are added each year.THE WORLD FAMOUSMilestiiMiciLargest wine cellar by number of bottles
Cricova – Moldova’s underground treasureIn just 15 km North of Chisinau, lays a of subterran city, a labyrinth of avenues and streets, named after wine types. Cricova’s museum stores the country’s national collectional of 1.3 millions of bottles, the oldest one beeing from 1902.
Moldova has a climate which is moderately continental; its proximity to the Black Sea leads to the climate being mild and sunny.
  • We divided Moldova in 3 parts
  • The North agricultural region
  • The Central agricultural region
  • The South agricultural region

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The North agricultural region comprises predominant heights 100-240m and slopes 5-8% and also in the steppe, undulating Balti flat with predominant heights 140-200m, on the flooded-steppe terraces of the left bank of Prut and forest-steppe Podolski dissected plain with slopes 2-5%.
  • Soil forming rack is neogen and blanket loam, clay, loess-like loam and in some places limestone. Natural vegetation is represented by oak and hornbean forests, meadow and sod steppe-grasses. Forest are 9%.
  • The climate of North agricultural region is warm and well humid.
The sum of positive air temperature in vegetative period is about 2750…30900C. In some years it is 1900-22000C, but probability of such sum not exceed 5% years. An average air temperature of the hotest month (july) is 19,5-21,00C, coldest month (january) is – 4,5…50C. An average duration of growing season is 165-175 days.
  • Frostless period in the air is 165-180 days, on the soil surface is 150-160 days.
  • An average date of the last spring frost refers to 20-25 of april and the frist fall frast – 5-15 October.
Annual precipitation is 550-630 mm, in vegetative period precipitation not exceed 285-350mm.

Hydrothermic index is 1,2-1,0. Index of annual air moistening is 0,65-0,8 (correlation between precipitataion aevaporation). Well-enough moistening during vegetative period is observed-40% year, unimportant drouughty conditions- 40-50% year and drz period withhard conditions for growth and development of agricultural crop (drought) – 10% years.

Central agricultural region,occupies Central Moldavian forest and forest-steppe elevation Codri with predominant heights 170-180m, maximum height 429,5m. Dominant slopes ranging between 8 and 30 percent.

Soil forming rock is plogen loamy sand, loam, clay, and their deluvium, eluvium. natural vegetation is beech and oak-hornbeam forests. Forests are 18%.

The climate of region is warmand medium humid. Sum of positiv air temperature in vegetative period is about 1900-32000C.


In some years it is 2200-24500C, but probability of such sum not exceed 5% years.

An average duration of growing season is 175-185 days. frostless period lasts in average 175-190 days. An average date of the last spring frost refers to 15 - 20 April and the first fall frost – 10-15 October. An average air temperature of the hottest month (July) is 21,0 … 22,00C, coldest month (January) – 3,5…4,50C.



Annual precipitation is 500-600mm, in vegetative period 265-315mm.

Hydro thermic index is about 1,1-0,8. Coefficient of moistening is 0,6-0,8. Well – enough moistening during vegetative period is observed 20% years, drought – 10-20% years.

South agricultural region comprises terrain of South Moldavian hilly, undulate, dissected steppe flat with predominant height – Tigetcheskaya forest-steppe elevation - 300m. Soil forming rock is represented by Neogene loam, clay and loess-like loam. Natural vegetation is sod steppe-grasses, and oak forests with pubescent oak and in the South of country-needlegrass steppe. Forests are only 7%. The climate of this region is warmest and baldy humid.
Sum of positive air temperature of vegetative periodis about 3200-34000C. In some years itis 2300-26000C or 3450-37500C, but probability of such sum is no mare than 5% years. An average duration of grawing season is 180-190 days. Frostless period lasts 175-195 days. An average date of last spring frast is 10-20 of april and the first fall frost 15-20 of October.
  • An average air temperature of the hotest month (July) is 21,5 …22,00C, coldest month (january) –3,0…-3,50C. Annual precipitation is 450-550mm, in vegetative period 235-275mm.
Hydtothermic index is about 0,8-0,7. Coefficient of moistening is 0,5-0,6. Well-enough moistening during vegetative period is observed 5% years, unimportant droughty conditions – 60-70%, drought – 30-40% years.
soils of moldova
Chernozems are reprezented by following types: podzolized (Chernozems Chernic – CHch); leached (Chernozems Luvic – CHcv); typical – (Chernozems chernic – CHch); ordinary (CHch); Calcic (Chernozems Calcic – Chcc).Soils of Moldova

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podzolized chernozems
occupy 118 thousand ha or 3,49% of total area. These soils were formed under forests, consisting of oak and mixed fodder plants and refer to heights 220-240m in the North region and 200-260m in the Centralregion.
  • Appraisal point of soil as to its properties is 88.
Podzolized chernozems
podzolized chernozems1
occupy 118 thousand ha or 3,49% of total area. These soils were formed under forests, consisting of oak and mixed fodder plants and refer to heights 220-240m in the North region and 200-260m in the Centralregion.
  • Appraisal point of soil as to its properties is 88.
Podzolized chernozems
leached chernozems
occupy 118 thousand ha or 3,49% of total area. These soils were formed under forests, consisting of oak and mixed fodder plants and refer to heights 220-240m in the North region and 200-260m in the Centralregion.
  • Appraisal point of soil as to its properties is 88.
Leached chernozems
typical chernozems
occupy 280 thousandhaor 8,3% oftotalarea. TheyaremainlylocatedintheNorthforest-steppepartofMoldova (absoluteHeights 200-180m) meetalsointhecentralregion (160-220m)

Thethicknessofsoilexerichedwithhumusismorethan 1m

Typicalchernozemswereadopted as a standerdoffertility, appraisalpoint 100

ordinary chernozems
ocuupy 634 thousand ha or 18,8% of total area. Spread in the South dry steppe, also meet in the Central and North of Republic. They were formed on the loess-like rosk at the heights of 135-150m. Organic carbon content is 2,3%. Soil sarption complex is saturated with exchangableCa and Mg, calcium carbonate is observed under ploughing harizon. Appraisal point 82.Ordinarychernozems
calcic chernozems
occupy 654 thousand ha or 19,4% of total area. They occur on the flat ground and slopes in the South of Moldova and also river absolute heights 40-180m and were formed on the – like loam, mare rare light clays under composed of different fonddersteppegrasses

Appraisal point 71. These soils are particularly favourable for vineyarols.

situation analysis agricultural yield
Situation AnalysisAgricultural Yield

Table 2. Average yield by main agricultural crops (quintals)

Source: Statistical Yearbooks 1970-2004

UNDP/UNICEF Joint Programme

Support to Strategic Policy Formulation, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Republic of Moldova

arable land on the slope
Arable land on the slope, %

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1. Spring forage crop

2. Winter wheat

3. Sugar beat

4. Corn, tabacco

5. Corn for silage, peas

6. Winter wheat or Barly

7. Sugar beat

8. Corn

9. Alfalfa

lets look at sugar beet
Lets look at sugar beet


Summer or fall

seed bed prepatation
Seed bed prepatation



during vegetation
During vegetation


Chemicals spray

during vegetation1
During vegetation

Chemicals spray




curent state of soils
Curent state of soils

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Main threats to soil resources


Organic matter


Decline in


Floods and landslides

Contamination local and diffuse



EU Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection

Erosion is the wearing away of the land surface by water and wind, primarily due to inappropriate land management, deforestation, overgrazing, forest fires and construction activities

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water erosion
Main factor of degradation
  • In 1965 – 284 000 ha
  • Present - 878 000 ha
  • Every year by 7100 ha increase
Water Erosion –
Decrease of productivity:

- Slightly eroded – 20%

- Moderately eroded -20-40%

- Heavily eroded- 40-60 %

- Very strongly eroded- 60-80 %

Diuring 1911-1965 area of ravines has doubled from 14434 ha to 24230 ha
  • The numbers of its has tripled

Aravineis a landform narrower than a canyon and is often the product of stream cutting erosion

Annual losses of fertile soil is estimated as 26 mlln tones:
  • aproxmatively 2000 ha of full profile chernozems with 100 of grades
  • The soil contain:
      • 700 000 tones of humus
      • 50 000 tones of N
      • 34 000 tones of F
      • 597 tones of K


For positive balance it is needed 10t /ha of manure or
  • In 1981-1990 it was introduce in soil about 6-7 t/ha of manure, 180-210 kg/ha NPK,
  • 180 -210 th. of ha of perennial grasses
  • In period of 1994-2009 the quantity of manure was reduced by 60 times – 0,1h/ha
  • The area occupied by perennial grasses decreased 4-5 times
  • Balance of humus become strongly negative
  • Minus 1,1 t/ha or 2,4 million tones of humus annually
land slides
Land slides
  • Landslides are the gravitational movement of a mass of rock, earth or debris down a slope. Landslides occur when the stability of a slope changes from a stable to an unstable condition. Such changes can be caused by a number of factors, acting together or alone
land slides1
Land slides
  • 62,6 th. of ha
  • 2,5 th./year
  • Soil degradation when occurring in the dry areas, is known as desertification which is caused by climatic conditions (droughts, aridity, irregular and intense precipitations regimes) and human activities (deforestations, overgrazing, soil structure deterioration.
1991 4-5 July more than 150 mm
  • 1993 15 June, 70 – 100 mm
  • 94 – 26 august more than 150 – 270 mm, intensity - 40 mm/h
  • 20057 during 4,5 hours– 60 mm; 18 august during 6 hours140-160 mm
  • 2012 – 21 mai more than 50 mm in less than one hour, 12 July – more then 35 mm during 15-20 min

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IFAD it is present in Moldova for over 13 years, knowing needs and working closely with Government of Moldova, has design and implemented measures to reduce the impact of climate change on agriculture.

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Conservation agriculture is an alternative to both conventional and organic farming with application of modern technologies to improve the production and simultaneously protecting land resources, reducing production costs and making the agriculture production less stressed to the climate change.

Conservation agriculture – a feasible method for facing climate change effect

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Pillar II: Mulching

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thank you very much
Thank you very much!!

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