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News Drought will cause crop failures in Spain, farmers warn

Drought now affects 60% of the Spanish countryside, with crops like wheat and barley likely to fail entirely in four regions, the main Spanish farmers’ association said on Thursday.

Spain’s long-term drought is causing “irreversible losses” to more than 3.5 million hectares of crops, the Coordinator of Farmers’ and Ranchers’ Organizations (COAG in its Spanish acronym) said in a new report.

Some cereals need to be “written off” in the prime growing regions of Andalusia, Castilla La Mancha, Extremadura and Murcia, and are likely to be lost in the driest areas of three other regions, according to the report. In the wine-growing region of La Rioja, farmers were in the exceptional situation of “having to irrigate cereals ... when normally they are never watered,” the association said.

Nuts and vineyards are also struggling, and olives will be badly affected if rain does not arrive in the next few weeks, the report stated. The lack of available water was further impacting the ability of farmers to irrigate corn, sunflowers, rice and cotton, likely leading to reduced sowing of these crops over the summer, it added.

Three years of very low rainfall and high temperatures have put Spain officially into long-term drought, the country’s weather agency said last month. Last year was Spain’s sixth driest — and the hottest since records began in 1961.

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News type Inbrief
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Source of information apnews
Geographical coverage Spain,
News date 20/04/2023
Working language(s) ENGLISH