It is biggest item in European Union's budget: common agricultural policy. Every seven years, Member States are renegotiating how y want to support ir farmers, again this year. Jürgen Hirschfeld, 61, manages toger with his son Dirk, 40, in Harz region 180 hectares with sugar beet, cereals and rape. Toger with a colleague, Hirschfeld also has a dairy farm with 120 hectares. Here farmer reports how important subsidies are for him, especially in extreme wear like this year.
"The profit I make with my son varies enormously every year: 20,000 to 50,000 euros, times up, times down. There are two reasons for this: on one unsteady prices, and on or harvest, which is different every year. Dasversuchen we have to calculate, but love of God makes it rain sometimes wrong month, and n you do not achieve desired yield.
This year it's as bad as ever because of drought. In cereals we have 25 percent less yield, corn is 30 percent less, hay for cows is even worse. If you have only one failure, you can catch it, but not if it hits all fruits like now. Last year it was difficult because it rained far too much, we lost 10 to 15 percent of crop. We have not yet experienced fact that wear is going so dramatically in different directions for two consecutive years.The cows are now getting winter food
We have to see if we can get all cows over winter or if we have to give one or or cow to butcher. There is nothing growing on pasture, cows are already getting winter food. We can try to re-sow again, but that's pointless if it doesn't rain. Hay and grass silage are hardly traded because most farms grow self.
If climate researchers are right, we have to adapt to fact that it is going on like this now. However, it is difficult to protect yourself as a farmer against extreme wear. One can only make a contribution: financially create a cushion and put even more fodder for animals. In fact, one tries to minimise risk with different fruits, but this does not bring anything this year. It hits m all. The maize actually tolerates quite a lot of heat, but even that does not get clear in such a drought. Or plants may be able to do more, but y also need to be asked enough to make it worthwhile.
If it remains so dry, one must of course think about artificial irrigation. But se are significant costs. And question is wher you get water rights at all. I can't just hang a pump in river. To tap groundwater, I need a permit and that is difficult to get.
The policy must now enable us, above all, to provide favourable bridging credits. So that we can pay for food, diesel or repairs. Subsidies, as requested by Farmers ' Association, would probably only arrive in half a year anyway. One would have to negotiate who gets how much money. But I need money now. For future, we need to think about how we can make a difference. Maybe about more insurance, maybe with state in common.Updated Date: 01 August 2018, 12:00