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Unprecedented drought worsens situation for EU veg

European vegetable canners and freezers are warning that the situation is critical for this year’s spring-sown, summer-harvested crops. The warning comes one month after announcing concerns over drought related crop shortages, and concludes that the situation for this year has worsened significantly.

The intensity of the drought increased in July, with some regions only experiencing 5% of their average rainfall for the first two weeks of the month. A deficit of around 60% of early summer rainfall has been recorded in a number of the sector’s main vegetable production areas, whilst temperatures have remained higher than normal.
Light spring rains in April and May, followed by the prolonged dry period in June and July, have caused irreversible damage to the majority of spring planted crops. Problems have been exacerbated by high temperatures and strong winds, which combined to increase evaporation rates, leading to reduced yields and crop shortages in the North, West and since the end of July also in the East of Europe, for virtually all vegetable crops grown for processing.

Concerns voiced in early July over potential shortages of up to 20% for a number of
crops, have now become a reality. Major problems are reported for peas and broad
beans, for which this year’s harvest is virtually finished, and green beans/flageolets, for which the harvest is already at its halfway point in Eastern Europe, where there is a shortfall of between 40 and 50%. Baby carrot yields are also well down, and even if rain falls in the second half of August, the later harvested crops such as cauliflower, broccoli and sweetcorn, will not recover from the damage already caused.

For more information:
Aline Rutsaert
Tel: +32 2 761 16 56

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