The Typical Crernozem Soils of the Balti Steppe

Photo by Jarek Pokrzywnicki.

The Typical Crernozem Soils of the Balti Steppe is part of the Tentative list of Moldova in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

The Typical Chernozem Soils of the Balti Steppe are closely associated with the foundation of soil science by Vasily Dokuchaev in the late 19th century, and have been used for studies determining the interaction between intensive agricultural practices and the environment. Chernozem is the best arable soil in the world, and has supported the breadbasket of Europe and North America. Five long term experiments have been conducted on the chernozem soils of the Balti Steppe in order to identify best practices for sustainable agriculture and promote global food security.

Map of The Typical Crernozem Soils of the Balti Steppe

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

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Jarek Pokrzywnicki

Polska - 26-Jul-21 -

The Typical Crernozem Soils of the Balti Steppe (T) by Jarek Pokrzywnicki

Just recently visited, during trip throughout Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, July, 2021. Strange place. Or maybe better ordinary place, that's better expression. 

While preparing the journey, I found the location (google coordinates) and try to locate that on the map. It was the middle of nowhere, just the fields outside Moldovian town of Balti. Than I tried to find something about the place but found not much. Just few Moldovan university sites that describe agriculture of the area (experimental field with special nutritions / fertalizers). Since the initial idea of Moldovian authorities was to inscribe the site on mixed criteria I decided to go on my own and check the site personally expecting at least some excelent landscape if not great human achievements.

Driving from Balti I put exact coordinates from our website and after some kilometers of driving through Moldovian crops (sunflowers, corn) I found that proposed area does not differ much from the surrounding countryside. Just hectars of fields with the same flora, well, frankly speaking I did not see great difference between those fields and numerous places in Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria or even in other areas of Moldova. Just normal fields. And landscape is really nothing special.

As far as I know chernozem soils are available not only in Moldova but also in Ukraine, Hungary, Poland, other countries in Asia so while regarding uniqueness of these kind of soil it is not only Moldovian feature. I have no idea what are the specific techniques of fertalizing are utilized there but the crops outcome looks as normal as in other areas.

Practicalities: I stayed overnight at Balti Hotel (main hotel in the town), rather soviet style, much too expensive for the quality offered, located in the very centre of Balti. If possible opt for other places in the town. There are some shops / restaurants very close to the place - descent prices. To get to the place you need to have your own transport. It is close to the main road (asphalted) - but have in mind the quality of roads in Moldova - they are very poor. The place is unmarked so good coordinates are essential.

Full Name
The Typical Crernozem Soils of the Balti Steppe
Human activity - Agriculture Natural landscape - Grassland and tundra
2011 Added to Tentative List

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The Typical Crernozem Soils of the Balti Steppe (T)
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