28 Aug 2023, 13:35
Julian Wettengel

German farmers blame climate change for 'enormously challenging' weather

Clean Energy Wire

Germany is expecting a below-average grain harvest due to difficult weather conditions that are likely to worsen with climate change, according to a preliminary harvest assessment by the German Farmers’ Association (DBV). “This year’s weather patterns show the clearly palpable effects of climate change yet again,” said DBV president Joachim Rukwied. “A wet spring, followed by drought in May and June and a harvest constantly interrupted by rainfall posed enormous challenges for Germany’s farmers this year,” added Rukwied in a statement. Rain and storms had visibly damaged crops, reducing harvest volumes and quality. Still, rainfall benefitted autumn crops, such as sugar beet, corn, potatoes, and vegetables, said the farmers’ group, adding that 2023 is expected to be a good vintage for wine. Rukwied said Germany must adapt to the changing climate by cultivating more resilient crop varieties, introducing targeted support for irrigation infrastructure, and by implementing sustainable tillage systems that save water.

In response to the farmers' assessment, Green Party agriculture minister Cem Özdemir called for immediate action. “Anyone who thinks you can start climate protection and climate adaptation later is not representing the interests of German agriculture,” he said. “Together we have to make agriculture climate-proof so that we will still have secure harvests in 20, 30 or 50 years’ time.”

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