Heat and drought could put Swedish dairy farmers out of business

Thomas and Bettan Svensson are dairy farmers in central Sweden. (Therese Edin/Radio Sweden)
The dry weather during May and June is putting an increasing strain on Sweden’s farmers. If the rain does not come soon, there is a risk that several farms will have to close down, reports Swedish Radio P4 Jönköping.

Thomas Svensson is a dairy farmer in Kullhestra in Småland (central Sweden). He only collected about half of the harvest that he needed, and with everybody having the same problem, there is a lack of animal fodder all around the country now, with the prices shooting through the roof.

“It is reasonably difficult. So far we are managing, but there will be trouble if we don’t get water,” Svensson told P4 Jönköping.

Other factors

A few years ago, the Federation of Swedish Farmers, LRF, estimated that five dairy farms a week were going out of business, due to the low prices they got for their milk, coupled with the competition from abroad.

Yngve Gustafsson, CEO of Wermlands Dairy AB. (Jenny Tibblin/Radio Sweden)

Now, there is a risk that more people will feel that they cannot go on, says Thomas Svensson.

“For those to stand there, already considering to throw in the towel.. this may be the last straw,” he says.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Feds announce funding to tackle climate change in Inuit region of Atlantic Canada, Radio Canada International

Finland: Lapland village nearly tops Finland’s 2018 heat record, YLE News

Norway: Northern Barents Sea warming at alarming speed, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Densely-packed ice makes navigation difficult in Russian Arctic, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden faces midsummer strawberry shortage due to unfavourable weather, Radio Sweden

United States: Alaska’s firefighters are ready for wildfire season, Alaska Public Media

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