Record heatwave is threatening agriculture in Europe

On top of issues with Russia, Europe is facing a record heatwave and it is taking a toll on the crops. A USDA Meteorologist says he has never seen anything quite like it.

“Obviously the agriculture impacts are going to be significant. It’s going to take us weeks to obtain what the yield impacts are, but I can assure you given the estimated crop stages that we have using our weather data, I have never seen anything quite as bad when it comes to timing and intensity as I’m seeing for Spain and France’s corn crop. It’s a bad scene for them,” says Eric Luebehusen.

Cooler weather is on the way for the region, but the damage to agriculture is already done. The heatwave is leading to a rash of wildfires, forcing evacuations. In Italy, cities are on the highest level of heatwave alert with more expected to be added today. Temperatures could reach 104 degrees. A shipbuilder closed down operations due to smoke and fires. 200,000 people are at risk of losing electricity and that would impact the water supply to farmers because pumps would be unable to function. The northern region of Lombardy is one of the hardest hit, and officials fear water supplies for agriculture could run out by the end of the month.

Conditions for farmers are not much better in France. A farmer recorded this video from inside his tractor, showing fire in his wheat field. It is an impressive but heartbreaking scene, knowing the crop will be lost. The farmer is working hard to put it out and stay out of harm’s way.


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