By Brian Russell
Torrential rains Sept. 11 in Romania devastated local farms, leaving fields of standing water.
“This was very bad timing,” said Mihaela Vasile, public affairs specialist in Romania. “Farmers here had just planted winter canola, and their fields in many cases were washed away, ruining their canola crop.”
More than 3,300 hectares of winter canola were destroyed in floods that left nine dead and devastated 18 towns and villages in Galati County.
“We received more than 140 liters of rain in two hours, which is more than this region normally receives in two months,” Vasile said. “And you can imagine that many farms are located on hills, others in valleys. The water rushed down the hills and flooded everything in the valleys.”
To support the community, the Monsanto Romania team worked to donate some $100,000 worth of winter canola seed – enough to cover about 1,200 hectares – to 22 affected farmers, free of charge. This will allow those farmers to replant their fields and still have a harvest.
“The farmers were very happy with our positive reaction,” Vasile said. “We contacted the affected growers on Friday, Sept. 13, and by Monday the 16th we were delivering free seeds. These farmers were so happy that Monsanto Company did not promise anything, but we showed up with seeds.
“A DEKALB farmer said to me that in his 54 years, he had never seen this much rain and he had never seen a company react like we did.”
Vasile praised the teamwork needed to accomplish the seed giveaway.
“This was a good collaboration between the sales team and logistics,” she said. “Also, management reacted quickly in Romania and Eastern Europe. They were able to make this happen very quickly.”