A worrying new crop failures report, published by the bloc’s Monitoring Agricultural Resources, forecasted corn yields in Europe could drop by almost a fifth due to the devastating drought reported to be “the worst in 500 years.”
The forecasted drop in corn output could send food inflation skyrocketing
Meanwhile, the farmers, who are already battling soaring diesel and fertilizer prices, will also face increasing feed costs for livestock herds.
According to the crop monitoring report, “Water and heat stress periods partly coincided with the sensitive flowering stage and grain filling,” adding, “This resulted in irreversibly lost yield potential.”
Crop Failures and impending food shortages
About half of Europe has been under drought warning this month as power plants, industry, fish populations, and crops have been devastated by the lack of rainfall.
Earlier this month, The European Commission Joint Research Centre warned the drought is “the worst in 500 years” as farmlands wither into dust.
As winter approaches, vast amounts of Europe face water shortages due to a very high risk of dry conditions over the next three months.
While Ukrainian disruptions are already exacerbating the food crisis, impending crop failures could devastate Europe.
In July, EU supermarket prices for meat jumped 12% compared to 2021.
Meanwhile, milk, cheese, and eggs are also soaring at record rates.
As The Trade Financial Global reported last week:
As the Fears continue to grow over a potential global food security crisis, European farmers struggle to save their crops from extreme weather events.
As much of Europe bakes in the latest heatwave, fears are growing about what’s being dubbed ‘heatflation’ crop losses that could see already inflated food prices reach new highs this autumn, deepening the cost-of-living crisis.
A lack of spring rainfall, combined with drought and freak storms, have spoiled crops in Italy, France, and Spain, with many farmers and agricultural associations warning that this year’s continental crop yields will be significantly smaller than usual.
According to an EU bulletin published last month, continental yields of crops such as soybean, sunflower, and maize were 9% below average.
In June, the National Farmers’ Union Federation (FNSEA) released a statement that “the damage is very significant, with some farms seeing 100% of their crop affected.”
French dairy farmers are also warning of a coming milk shortage this winter due to animal fodder shortages and parched grazing areas – a situation not helped by a ban on irrigation in large parts of the country due to water restrictions. In some places, levels are so low that drinking water is having to be brought in by truck.
In an updated assessment last month, the European Commission found that nearly half – 44 percent – of the EU and UK are experiencing “warning” levels of drought.
It warned that several countries, including France, Romania, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, will experience reduced crop yield in 2022 due to low soil moisture levels.