Global Food Crisis: 50 Per Cent Crop Loss Likely Due to Drought, German Farmers Say

15 July 2022, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Eberstadt: Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (l, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) sits in a combine harvester during a visit to Joachim Rukwied, President of the German Farmers' Association. The tour of the arable and wine-growing farm focuses on the diversity of arable crops, the preservation of biodiversity …
Bernd Weißbrod/picture alliance via Getty Images

Crop losses of up to 50 per cent are now expected in parts of Germany due to drought, farmers in affected regions have claimed.

Up to half of the crops in parts of the German state of Baden-Württemberg are likely to be lost due to drought, farmers in the region have claimed, with problems to do with the prices of fuel, fertiliser, and pesticides connected to the green agenda and war in Ukraine also reportedly causing problems for those in the region.

With the losses expected to materialise in the autumn, the farming chaos may end up being another crisis facing Germany’s floundering political class as fuel shortages combined with a freefalling economy hit a public already suffering from officials’ poor handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a report by Bild, a serious lack of rainfall has led farmers to fear that the likes of maize, sugar beet, potato, and soybean crops could see losses of up to 50 per cent should rain not return soon.

“If there is no heavy rainfall in the near future, we expect considerable harvest losses of up to 50 per cent for almost all crops,” state farmer president Joachim Rukwied is reported as saying on Thursday, emphasising that crops harvested in the autumn were likely to be the worse affected.

To make matters worse, livestock farmers in the region are also now struggling, with many being forced to give animals feed meant to be kept for the winter as the amount of edible grass on the ground quite literally has dried up.

Fodder that might otherwise be imported from Russia or Ukraine is proving hard to come by as a result of the former’s invasion the latter and the West’s resulting sanctions war with Moscow.

For farmers in Baden-Württemberg, this year’s drought is just the latest of many crises that have disrupted their businesses, with the international trade chaos caused in part by the Ukraine war seeing the cost of essential fertilisers soar across Europe.

Sourcing alternatives outside of Russia has proven difficult in part thanks to the EU’s green agenda, with plants producing the modern nitrogen fertilisers requiring natural gas as an essential component.

The European Union — having been obsessed with expanding the capacity of so-called green energy over fossil fuels — is now struggling to source this gas for the purpose of heating the homes of the general public, let alone for the production of fertilisers, leaving many farmers in the lurch.

While the use of less efficient alternatives such as manure is now being considered by many across the EU, for farmers in Germany the crisis may ultimately be the least of their problems as they head into what looks like will be a cold winter of gas shortages, during which many may be unable to afford to heat their homes.

Authorities in the country are starting to panic about the possibility of such supply problems, with some government bigwigs now saying that the country will likely see gas riots as a furious public loses patience over the political class’ chronic mismanagement of the EU powerhouse’s affairs.

“[A]fter the pandemic and the world events of the last few months, we are dealing with a highly emotional, aggressive, pessimistic mood among the population, whose trust in the state, its institutions and political actors is at least in some parts afflicted with massive doubts,” President of the Thuringian Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Stephen Kramer, said last week.

The official — who is tasked with helping to maintain the integrity of the modern democratic German state — went on to say that unrest in the coming months may make the anti-lockdown demos frequently seen over the past number of months look like a “children’s birthday party” by comparison.

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