Italy’s Crop Damage From Drought Seen Close To 1 Billion Euros

Not only is the US suffering from what seems like a never ending drought, but Italy’s crops have been taking the toll as well. According to Bloomberg, Italian farmers have suffered close to 1 billion euros ($1.23 billion) in crop damage from drought, with losses in corn, wine grapes and sugar beets.

Corn losses range from 30 percent to complete destruction for non-irrigated fields, while the damage in soybeans and sugar beets is about 50 percent, the Rome-based agriculture group wrote in a statement dated August 9.

Italy is Europe’s third-largest corn grower behind France and Romania, and the region’s largest importer of wheat. Confagricoltura, a farm industry organization, didn’t give price estimates for crop losses caused by the heat waves and lack of rain.

“The losses are enormous and not adequately covered by insurance,” Mario Guigi, the president of Confagricoltura, was cited as saying in the statement.

The drought has also caused “considerable” losses in quality and quantity of fodder, sunflowers, tomatoes, summer fruits, grapes and olives, the group wrote. Some areas face a “concerning” year for mushrooms and chestnuts, it said.

Italy’s wine harvest has started, and production is forecast to fall 10 percent below the five-year average because of heat and drought, farm union Coldiretti said in an emailed statement on Aug. 8.