Diversity and Wealth of the Municipality of Novi Bečej: Geographic Monograph with Overview of Natural Characteristics, Population, Economy, and Settlements

Explore the deeply rooted natural charms and economic potentials of the Municipality of Novi Bečej through a comprehensive geographical monograph. Familiarize yourself with fascinating aspects of the terrain, geology, climate, water bodies, flora, and fauna, while simultaneously delving into vibrant settlements and diverse industries. This informative book provides valuable insights into the richness of this unique Vojvodina region, offering a broad spectrum of information useful for education, regional planning, and preserving local identity.

Evolutionary Transformation of Agricultural Production: Analysis of Structural Changes in Novi Bečej (1965-1980)

Based on the prevalence of certain groups of crop cultures, one can become acquainted with the past and present structure of production and determine the production orientation in the upcoming period. In order to comprehensively understand the structure of crop production in the municipality's territory and observe significant changes within it, it is necessary to analyze data from 1965 to 1970 and from 1975 to 1980. Various changes occurred in the overall sowing structure during these time periods, providing sufficient basis for identifying positive trends and determining adequate pathways for further agricultural development.

Considering that earlier crop production in this area predominantly exhibited monocultural characteristics, significant changes are observed during the observed period from 1965 to 1970. Although this production has not completely lost all its previous features, the progress achieved from 1945 to 1970 indicates tendencies towards modern agricultural management.

Influence of natural conditions and longstanding traditions, cereal production retained its dominant significance. However, as this could also be perceived as a certain one-sidedness, which could be economically detrimental in crop production, efforts have been made to expand arable land under industrial and other intensive cultures. This resulted in positive trends in changing the structure of crop production. The share of intensive cultures is increasing, leading to the suppression of subsistence economy and the development of market-based economies. Real preconditions for increasing the participation of industrial cultures in overall crop production include: significant arable land area of over 40,000 hectares (which constitutes about 66% of the total municipality's territory), suitable soil quality, established irrigation fields, available industrial capacities, and, notably, industrial capacities of the neighboring Zrenjanin subregion.

Analysis of data from the last table indicates that in the observed five-year period, the most significant changes in overall crop production occurred in the production of industrial crops: with a 10.6% representation in 1965, production expanded by nearly 50%, reaching a 15% representation of industrial crops in total crop production. This increase was much more pronounced on individual farms, almost doubling (increasing from 6.9% to 12.0%), while minimal growth was recorded in the social sector, just 1.2%. The social sector was almost exclusively oriented towards sugar beet and sunflower production, while on the individual sector of production, besides the mentioned crops, poppy, tobacco, industrial pepper, medicinal and aromatic plants were also represented.

Recent research from 1975 to 1980 indicates further significant changes and increasing development of crop and overall plant production.

In the total social sector, which cultivates 15,279 hectares of arable land, different sowing structures and overall plant production were achieved in the last five-year period (from 1975 to 1980).

The main changes in production in the social sector are observed in increased production of industrial crops compared to cereals, increased diversity in crop production, and increased fruit production.

During the period from 1975 to 1980, individual farms also achieved production of various crops: wheat, barley, maize, sunflower, sugar beet, fodder, vegetables, etc. The largest areas are used for maize, sunflower, fodder, and spring barley production. It is characteristic that maize becomes the dominant and increasingly important crop.

Along with differences in sowing structure on social and individual farms, different yields per unit area are also achieved. Due to better equipment, greater presence of modern machinery, application of all agronomic and agrochemical measures, and trained workforce, more significant production results are achieved on social farms. This can be illustrated by the following data:

Through more organized production, timely and comprehensive application of agronomic and agrochemical measures, and expansion of total arable land by 2,000 hectares (through land acquisition or provision of funds for retiring aging individual producers), significant increase in crop production of the most important wheat and industrial crops is planned on the social sector. According to the data from the Municipality Assembly's Economy Department, wheat production is expected to increase from 23,898 tons in 1981 to 29,548 tons in 1985, maize from 21,043 tons to 28,430 tons, sunflower from 5,604 tons to 7,294 tons, and sugar beet from 52,693 tons to 89,026 tons. Such production, besides all the aforementioned, also implies a significant increase in yield per unit area.

Alongside wheat and industrial crop production, production of crops for animal feed also becomes significant. This is primarily due to achieving cheap animal feed production and the impact of these crops on increasing field fertility. The most widespread crop for animal feed is alfalfa, covering over 90% of areas under fodder. With four mowings per year, an average annual yield of over 60 tons/ha of dry hay is achieved. Despite high demand for animal feed, both in the municipality and broader market, animal feed production does not increase. The reasons are insufficient drying capacities and lack of satisfactory capacity of the factory for processing silage maize and producing other animal feed.

When considering the issue of increased animal feed production, one should not overlook the fact that large areas of natural meadows and pastures exist in the municipality's territory, from which over 10,000 tons of hay are obtained annually. During vegetation, these areas are also used as pastures, which is also a significant contribution to livestock development.

Vegetable production within the total crop production has secondary significance. Vegetables are mainly produced on individual farms, while only about 4% of total areas planted with these crops belong to the social sector. Significant market surpluses, or production for the market, are still not achieved in this sub-branch of agriculture. The predominant portion of production on individual farms, excluding larger areas under industrial peppers, onions, and potatoes, is used to meet the needs of producers themselves. The social sector, except for significant areas under industrial peppers, did not give greater importance to vegetable production in its production programs. By providing a satisfactory market for broader vegetable distribution and establishing processing industrial capacities, production in this crop area could be significantly increased.

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