Farmers cannot tend crops in soggy fields

Farmers cannot tend crops in soggy fields
Photo: DPA
As German farmers see their fields submerged by floods this week, for many it is simply a crowning misery to a terrible season. Strawberries and asparagus are doing particularly badly.

“Our fruit and vegetable farmers above all are experiencing significant losses, as they are right in the middle of the harvest, particularly the strawberry farmers and asparagus farmers,” said Michael Lohse from the Association of German Farmers.

“It’s too cold and the sun is missing, so the asparagus is not growing and the strawberries are not going red,” he said.

Many fields are so wet, or even under water and so cannot be worked, he added. “One cannot tend the plants which are there. One has to fertilize the land, one has to undertake crop protection measures and that is not possible when one cannot drive on the land.”

This will lead to huge delays in the development of the plants and thus the harvest will be late, and probably smaller.

“Those who should be harvesting now, the strawberry and asparagus farmers, will of course suffer financially,” said Lohse.

Crops such as potatoes and maize will suffer under the rainy conditions. “They are water-sensitive plants and it looks bad for them at the moment. We will have to see how the harvests are,” he said. But problems are already being experienced with early potato harvests, much of which are smaller than usual, with much simply rotting in the water-logged soil.

Consumers will still be able to find all they want in the shops, he stressed, but he said prices would be higher as much would be imported.

The Local/DPA/hc

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