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Farmers fear for crops as summer heat continues

DDP/The Local · 9 Jul 2010, 08:10

Published: 09 Jul 2010 08:10 GMT+02:00

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“We’re expecting the worst,” Gerd Sonnleitner told daily Ruhr Nachrichten. “If the weather forecasts are right we have to prepare for major damage to harvests. Then we expect very negative affects on earnings.”

Regions with sandy soil in eastern and northern Germany will suffer the most, Sonnleitner said. But some areas in the southern states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg are managing a bit better and “look relatively good,” he added.

In a normal year Germany would harvest some 47 million tonnes of grain, but if the scorching weather continues, this won’t happen, Sonnleitner warned.

The wet, cold spring came late this year after a long winter, making the summer heat even more damaging, but farmers will wait a few more weeks before calling for state aid, the paper said.

But the next 10 days are expected to bring record heat and sunshine to the country, creating a dangerous situation for grain crops in particular.

Story continues below…

“With that the grain in the fields can just burn away,” Sonnleitner said.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:57 July 9, 2010 by majura
It's like being at home (Australia).
14:13 July 9, 2010 by beeker
If this is climate change, might have to look at changing varieties of grains to something more drought tolerant. Is this an insurable event? my wife's dry land wheat (in Oregon) has had insurance payouts two years in a row due to low yields. We insure against yield, hail, fire and wind every year.

A bigger problem will be for fresh produce farmers. berry crops aren't heat tolerant. they ripen early with fruit that can't be sold in the fresh market and are suitable only for processing, but with low yields.
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