Lack of rain and high temperatures are changing crop map of Spain

Spanish agriculture is suffering from water shortages due to the meteorological drought caused by the lack of rainfall and high temperatures. In many areas this will lead to a change in the crop map.

"This hydrological year is the third driest so far this century", the spokesman for the National Meteorological Agency says and predicts that the summer will be warmer than normal and with below-average rainfall.

Water shortages together with rising input costs have slowed down sugar beet acreage both in Andalucía - it has fallen from 8,650 to 7,800 hectares - and in the north, where it has fallen from 20,660 to 17,200 hectares.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food will allocate some €563 million of Next Generation funds to modernize Spain's irrigation systems, which with private aid could mean a reduction in production costs for 100,000 hectares of agricultural land. The agricultural sector will receive the largest public investment in irrigation - €2,137 million - between 2022 and 2027.

Climate change and agriculture
Carlos G. Hernández (Centre for Studies and Research for the Management of Agricultural and Environmental Risks) says that now the water shortage has been joined by the increase in the price of energy, "the situation is becoming complex. The distribution of crops is already changing due to the water factor in Spain. It is difficult to see maize in Andalucía and the alternatives are vegetables, fruit trees and olive groves", he gave as an example, or sunflower, which is rainfed and if it is irrigated it will only be with a small amount of support.


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