Adverse weather causes significant damage to crops in France and Italy
Fruit crops, vineyards and wheat have suffered serious damage as a result of heavy hail and fierce storms in France, while high temperatures and drought have also caused production losses in Italy.
According to an article published by Reuters, the National Farmer’s Union (FNSEA) stated that strong winds and torrential rain caused damage in nearly 65 departments of France, affecting wheat as well as fruit crops and vineyards.
With France being the world’s largest wheat exporter and the wheat harvest approaching, the FNSEA told the publication: “"The damage is very significant, with some farms seeing 100% of their crop affected”.
On the other side of the border in Northern Italy, regions such as Piedmont, Valle d'Aosta and Trentino Alto Adige have also been hit by storms but the main concern in Italy is drought, with another week of high temperatures forecast across much of the country.
Overall, Italy has received only half the usual rainfall so far in 2022 and with the Po Valley being the hardest hit by drought, the estimated cost of lost production is close to €1 billion ($1.1 billion), according to Coldiretti.
The agricultural association explained that "the most affected crops have been rice, with a drop of 10,000 hectares, and all other cereals, from wheat to maize, with a forecast reduction in yields".
In addition, in eastern Europe, the war between Russia and Ukraine has already provoked an increase in prices, as both countries are major wheat producers. Adverse weather conditions in western Europe could therefore add pressure to existing strains on the global supply chain.
The French agriculture minister Marc Fesneau is due to visit winegrowers in the Gironde and Gers regions on Monday.