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Mon Jul 17, 2017, 08:27 AM

" . . .Not Bad, It Was Catastrophic" - Wheat, Olives, Almonds, Durum Crushed By S. European Drought

ROME/MADRID, July 14 (Reuters) - Italian durum wheat and dairy farmer Attilio Tocchi saw warning signs during the winter of the dramatic drought to come at his holding a mile away from the Tuscan coast. "When it still hadn't rained at the beginning of spring we realised it was already irreparable," he said, adding that he had installed fans to try and cool his cows that were suffering in the heat.

Drought in southern Europe threatens to reduce cereal production in Italy and parts of Spain to its lowest level in at least 20 years, and hit other regional crops including olives and almonds. Castile and Leon, the largest cereal growing region in Spain, has been particularly badly affected, with crop losses estimated at around 60 to 70 percent. "This year was not bad, it was catastrophic. I can't remember a year like this since 1992 when I was a little child," said Joaquin Antonio Pino, a cereal farmer in Sinlabajos, Avila.

EDIT

Spain and Italy are also among the world's top producers of olive oil. Production in both countries is expected to fall, but the decline is likely to be particularly steep in Italy, where drought is the latest headache for olive growers already plagued by insects and a bacterial disease in recent years. A 60 percent drop in Italian output is forecast by the International Olive Council.

EDIT

http://news.trust.org/item/20170717060307-zbpsy

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