Germany Faces Potato Shortage after Drought Affecting the Crop
Germany faces a severe potato shortage as a consequence of unusually hot and dry weather this summer, the German Farming Society (DLG) warned.
“We are expecting one of the smallest potato harvests of all times in Germany”, Martin Umhau, a member of the DLG supervisory board, told the German press agency (dpa).
According to Umhau, an anticipated fall in potato yields from 11.7 million tons in 2017 to 8.5 million tons in 2018 could hereby lead to an increase in consumer prices for the popular crop by up to 30%.
Umhau was speaking ahead of the start of the “PotatoEurope 2018” agricultural trade fair. A focus of this year’s event will be placed on the implications of a recent drought experienced in many European countries between June and August.
Potato farmers are only one of several agricultural producers in Germany who have highlighted that they face the prospect of widespread crop failures due to the hot and dry summer weather. Responding to such industry concerns, federal and state-level governments announced that they would set aside EUR340m in financial aid for farmers who suffered particularly heavy losses.
In order for German farmers to receive the state assistance in question, they must demonstrate that more than a 30% threshold of their average annual crop yield has been destroyed this year. State governments previously estimated that around 10,000 agricultural producers across Germany currently face a high risk of bankruptcy because of the heatwave.
Earlier, the German Farmers Association (DBV) downgraded its annual forecast for grain yield for a second time in 2018 from 41 million tons to 36 million tons.