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International Society for Horticultural Science

Horticulture Research International

Bulgaria

General info
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Climate
Continental and subtropical climate influence the weather in Bulgaria. For the largest part of the country the climate is moderately continental with four clearly differentiated seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter. Annual temperatures fall within the range of -14 °C to -30 °C (including the mountains). The country's average annual temperature is 10.5 °C. The coldest month is January (average temperature -2 °C) and the warmest is July (+25 °C). The coldest regions in Bulgaria are the Danube Plain and the high valleys. During summer it is warm everywhere in the country, with the exception of the high mountains. The temperatures of the Black Sea water in July and August reach 27 °C. The prevailing winds are from the west. Annual precipitation averages comparatively low (698 mm), ranging from 450 mm in the plains to 1200 mm in the high mountains. Snow lasts for an average of 10 days on the Black Sea coast, 20-30 days on the lowlands and more then 200 days in the mountains.

Geography
The average altitude is 470 m. Almost 70% of Bulgaria's surface area consists of plains and hills. The highest mountain peak in Bulgaria and on the Balkan Peninsula is Moussala (2925 m) in Rila mountain. The land for agricultural use in Bulgaria is about 6,168,100 ha. The soils vary greatly in Bulgaria. The main types of soil for Northern Bulgaria are the black soil and the grey forest soil, formed under the influence of the moderately continental climate. To the south, where the transitional continental and sub Mediterranean climate is prevailing, maroon and clay soils are predominant. In the mountains (average altitude 700-800 m above sea level) forest meadow soils are predominant. The following soil types are present in Bulgaria: maroon forest (29.1%), black earth (23.4%), grey forest (17.2%), brown (14.8%), alluvial-meadow (7.0%), clay black earth (5.8%), forest meadow (1.2%).

Horticulture
Many aspects of horticulture can be found in Bulgaria: arboriculture, viticulture, fruit growing, and flower culture, vegetable production under cover and in the open. Bulgarians are known as master-gardeners and horticultural research has a long tradition.

Fruit growing is practiced in many parts of the country. The primary fruit growing regions are located in the Central South (pome-fruit, cherry, peach), in the West (cherry, plum), in the North-East Danube Valley (apricot), in the Central Balkan Mountains (plum and prune), in the south-west (peach, subtropical crops), and in the Black Sea Coast (apple and peach to the North, and peach, almond and subtropical crops to the South).
Viticulture and enology are well developed in the river valleys. Vegetable growing is practiced in all regions. Protected cultures (vegetables and flowers) are grown on small parcels of land.

Distribution of Horticulture
Fruit growing is practiced in many parts of the country. The primary fruit growing regions are located in the Central South (pome-fruit, cherry, peach), in the West (cherry, plum), in the North-East Danube Valley (apricot), in the Central Balkan Mountains (plum and prune), in the south-west (peach, subtropical crops), and in the Black Sea Coast (apple and peach to the North, and peach, almond and subtropical crops to the South).

Viticulture and enology are well developed in the river valleys. Vegetable growing is practiced in all regions. Protected cultures (vegetables and flowers) are grown on small parcels of land.

Research Thrusts
The major research thrusts are the National Center for Agrarian Sciences (research institutes and stations) and Universities in the field of agriculture.
National Center for Agrarian Sciences of Bulgaria is the national scientific organisation carrying out its research and extension service activities in the field of agriculture and food industry.

Nature of Institutes
The first Experiment Station for Viticulture was founded in 1902, the first one for Fruit Growing in 1929, and the first one for Vegetables Growing in 1930. Nowadays Institutes and Experimental Stations are carrying their activities under the subordination of the National Center for Agrarian Sciences of Bulgaria at Sofia.
Horticultural research is directed to sustainable and cost-effective growing systems.

Organisations / Institutes:
National Center for Agrarian Sciences of Bulgaria


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