Geographical description

Location: The study site no. 8 is located in the arable land of Draganesti Vlasca commune. Draganesti Vlasca is located within Burnas Plain in the eastern part of Teleorman county. (photos below).

Map Map2
Location of Draganesti Vlasca Study Site

Size Three villages take part of the commune: Draganesti Vlasca, Comoara and Vaceni. Draganesti Vlasca has an territorial administrative area of 10324 ha. The commune has 4852 citizens.

Elevation The territory of Draganesti Vlasca is covered by plain with an altitude ranging between 85-95 m. The plain is fragmented by different valleys (Valea Alba, Valea Comoarei, Valea Valcenilor, Valea Hotoaicii and Valea Dumitranii), which are seasonally flooded.

Climate In the study area the climate is temperate continental. The yearly average air temperature is 10,6°C, the values ranging between – 3,5°C in January and 22,7°C in July, meaning that the winters are mild and summers are cool. The droughty periods are in August and October prolonging even in November, affecting negatively the autumn crops.

Soils The dominant soil in Draganesti Vlasca is phaeozem in different degradation stages, having a low fertility and in some areas with risk of erosion occurence.

Geology In the upper part, there is a reddish brown silty clay layer, which stands on a loess layer of 7-8 m thickness.

Hydrology There are three rivers passing the commune: Calnistea, Valea Alba and Suhat. The total area of surface water bodies is 246 ha. The ground table level ranges between 1 – 4 m in the flood plain area and between 20 – 30 m in the plain area.

Land use types: The main agricultural activities practiced in the area are related to crop and livestock production. The areas under different land use types are the following: arable – 8220 ha, pastures – 163 ha, forest – 1184 ha, vineyards – 97 ha, orchards – 5 ha, surface water bodies – 246 ha. In the graph below percentage of areas under different land use types from the total administrative area of commune are presented. The main crops cultivated on arable land are: wheat, maize, sun-flower.

Crop types

Pedo-climatic zone
The study area is located in Panonnian pedo-climatic zone. The area is covered by a Phaeozem.

Cropping systems

Cropping intensity
Conventional and conservation agricultural systems are mainly used in the study area.

Cropping system Cropping system2
Impressions of the StudySite  

Types of crop
The common crop rotation used in the study area is: wheat, maize, sunflower.

Management of soil, water, nutrients and pests
The conventional agricultural system was used for a long time in the study area. In the last years, improved technologies were implemented such as: reduced tillage without mouldboard ploughing and seedbed preparation with heavy machinery; conservative tillage without mouldboard ploughing, seedbed preparation and sowing done in one pass, the soil being covered more than 30 % with plant residues from previous crop. The nutrient status is maintained by applying, for example in case of wheat, of complex NPK 300 kg/ha during the growing period. Pesticides are used for combating pests, in case of wheat, 2 kg/ha.

Soil improving cropping system and techniques currently used
Reduced soil tillage is applied by using of heavy machinery. In the crop rotation, in the study area, crops with deep rooting system are included. Irrigation system is presented also. Mineral fertilisation is applied in different doses according to the crop requirements. The soil presents an intrinsic compaction, which may be improved by deep loosening.

Problems that cause yield loss or increased costs
Water deficit in periods of drought may be a major cause of yield loss. Water excess in the wet periods also may affect negatively the yield. Within the soil profile there are compacted layers which affect the root development. The soil in the study area has a high clay content which lead to occurrence of compacted layers.

External drivers and factors

Institutional and political drivers
European Nitrate Directive is transposed in Romanian legislation by Water Frame Law. Every four years, starting with 2005, vulnerable areas to nitrate pollution from agricultural sources are designated and action plans are accomplished in order to monitor and protect the surface and ground water bodies. Codes of Good Agricultural Practices for farmer use are accomplished/revised. Action Programs which include concrete measures for implementing the Codes are accomplished. Currently one Action Program is applied at national level, because all water resources are discharged in Black Sea which is affected by eutrophication. In order to implement EU Directive 2009/28/CE at county (NUTS 3) level greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption on the entire chain of biofuel and bioliquid production were evaluated.

Societal drivers
More than 80 % of farming systems are of small and medium size, with less than 8 and 8-100 animal unit respectively. The choice of farm type (vegetal, animal or both) depends on the financial capacity of the farmers. The farmers may apply for subsidies within agricultural commune policies, having the obligation to fulfil minimum requirements related to environmental protection, as well as maintaining of land in good agricultural and environmental conditions (cross compliance rules).

Bio-physical drivers
The effects of climate changes are reflected in weather variables (air temperature and precipitation), which have a major impact on crop growing and yields. In this context, the climate changes determined the occurrence of frequent drought and temporary water excess on large agricultural areas, the most vulnerable being in the south part of the country. Measures for climate change adaptation includes: optimising the growing period of agricultural crops, selection of genotypes resistant to extreme temperatures, water deficit/excess.