Farmers fear for their livelihoods as Germany braces itself for another week of epochal drought, with temperatures set to reach up to 39C.
The farmlands of Germany have borne the brunt of this year’s extreme heat and record-low rainfall, with many farmers warning of crippling harvest losses.
“We expect billions in losses,” DBV president Joachim Rukwied told German media last week.
The grain crop alone has shrunk by up to eight million tonnes, or around 18%, this year.
The BOGK says that at least 25% of this year’s potato crops will fail, and that number could easily climb to 40% if the arid conditions continue.
With many other EU nations experiencing similar potato losses, and strict limitations in place for imports from non-EU countries — a serious EU potato shortage looks possible.
“If the weather doesn’t change, the crops will fail,” BOGK director Horst-Peter Karos told news agency DPA.
The crippling harvest losses will see food prices soar, with the Federal Association of Dairy Farmers claiming that milk prices could rise by up to 41 cents a litre, due to lower supplies of fodder and very little grass in the fields for cattle to eat.
A natural disaster is declared by German authorities when at least 30% of the average annual harvest is destroyed.
Given the massive losses feared by the sector this year, the German Farmers’ Association (DBV) has called crisis talks on Tuesday to discuss urgent state aid.