German, Nordic and Baltic states move to help farmers with heatwave crisis

JULIAN STRATENSCHULTE

A farmer harvesting a field of rapeseed with a combine harvester, at sunset near Sehnde, Germany, 12 July 2016.

German, Nordic and Baltic states move to help farmers with heatwave crisis


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German, Swedish, Finnish, Lithuanian and Danish farmers are facing a drought and their governments are mulling special aid packages.

The European Commission pledged it own support on Tuesday, moving to allow the limited use of fallow land for animal feed. There is also coordination with local authorities to bring, where needed, some national subsidy payments forward.

Germany

The German farmers Association (DBV) is seeking €1bn, but agriculture minister Julia Kloeckner will not commit prior to August harvest, the public broadcaster DW reports.

Farmers estimate they could lose 20-to-30% of their production in products such as grain and rapeseed. Increasingly, the federal minister is under pressure to respond to specific emergency conditions in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Saxony-Anhalt.

The heatwave is harming specific harvests, such as wheat, and could force farmers to import animal feed given the damage to maize and grass. According to the head of the German farmers association

Scandinavia and the Baltic States

The Swedish minister of finance Magdalena Andersson has already moved in with a €116 million financial aid package.

As in Germany, there is a great concern in Sweden for the sparsity of animal feed for lamb and beef. The country expects the poorest harvest in 25 years. The Swedish Farmers Association is urging for a swift move to support farmers that are already facing prohibitive costs.

The Danish government is also mulling special assistance.

That is also the case in Lithuania, where a state of national state of emergency has been declared. Local reports estimate the loss of produce to range between 15-and-50%.

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