Farmers across much of southern Europe are holding their breath as summer starts with very high temperatures and drought conditions already in place. Last year saw many places in Europe recording record temperatures.

Europe has been in drought since 2018, according to a study by Graz University in Austria.

France recorded 32 days without any significant rainfall anywhere in the country across January and February, the longest dry period ever recorded.

Spain enforced reduced water usage restrictions on farmers in early March.

“Drought is going to be one of the central political and territorial debates of our country over the coming years,” Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sánchez, said.

Last summer, heat reached levels that threatened to burn up crops completely in some areas. Fish were being rescued from the River Onya in Girona, near Spain’s French border due to low water levels.

Food supply

Initial fears are for fruit and vegetable crops, which could exacerbate supply issues for such food types across Europe. However, weather conditions could affect growth of crops like barley, wheat and maize if rainfall levels aren’t above average in the weeks ahead.