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a medje (county) in southeastern Hungary near the Rumanian border. Area, 5,668 sq km; population, 438,000 (1968). Administrative center, Békéscsaba. Békés occupies the southeastern part of the Central Danubian Plain with a general decline in elevation from east to west. Elevation, 80–90 m. A network of rivers belonging to the basin of the Keres (a left tributary of the Tisza), with shallow broad valleys, lies in the north. The leading economic area is highly developed agriculture, in which more than 70 percent of the population is engaged. More than 80 percent of the medje’s area is under cultivation (plowlands and truck farms), while about 10 percent is used as meadow and grazing land. The basic crops are wheat, maize, sugar beets, and hemp. Alfalfa and other feed crops are sown. Animal husbandry is oriented toward meat (swine, cattle); poultry farming is well developed. Industry, which employed 36,000 people in 1966, primarily processes agricultural produce: there is flour milling, meat processing, dairy production, sugar refining, and fruit canning. There is also a textile and garment industry (in Békéscsaba), and a glass industry (in Oroshaza). Petroleum and natural gas are extracted.
V. V. BODRIN