Farmers fear crop losses: Half of the EU area is threatened by drought

A lack of precipitation and intense heat waves are exacerbating the drought in Europe.

Farmers fear crop losses: Half of the EU area is threatened by drought

A lack of precipitation and intense heat waves are exacerbating the drought in Europe. The EU Commission warns that around half of the EU area is now at risk of drought. In Germany, the water and heat stress is already reflected in the harvest.

According to a report by the joint research center of the EU Commission, a large part of the area of ​​the European Union is threatened by drought. At the end of June, 46 percent had a drought warning level of two, and 11 percent of the area even had the highest of three warning levels, as the information shows.

Severe drought that has affected several regions of Europe since the beginning of the year is spreading and worsening, the report said. This is due to a lack of precipitation in combination with heat waves. Climate change is increasing the risk of severe droughts and forest fires around the world, stressed EU Research Commissioner Marija Gabriel. "This report gives us a better understanding of the situation to protect our forests, our crops and our water."

Water and heat stress led to crop yields falling further. France, Romania, Spain, Portugal and Italy are likely to struggle with this drop in crop yields, according to data from the European Commission. The northern Italian Po basin in particular is suffering severely from the drought. To a certain extent, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia are probably also affected.

The President of the German Farmers' Association, Joachim Rukwied, shares the concerns of the EU. "Drought and heat are a big problem in some regions this year," he told the "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung". The unpredictable weather had already left its mark on the grain harvest. Other crops such as corn or potatoes, for which the harvest is still pending, "will suffer from the high temperatures," said the farmer president. If it doesn't rain in the near future, "there will be big losses here".

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