Sweden seeks European Commission’s help for farmers facing historic drought

Like Sweden, parts of Germany are also hit hard by a lasting stretch of hot, dry weather, with considerable impacts on farming. In this July 6th picture, a tractor is seen in a grain field near Loewenberg, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
The hot and dry weather is badly affecting Sweden’s farmers. It is the worst drought in 26 years, according to the farmers association. The government is now stepping in to try to ease the situation, and is hoping for crisis money from the European Commission.

At a press conference on Monday, the Minister for Rural Affairs, Sven-Erik Bucht, said they are looking at a range of ways to try to help farmers through this difficult period. Some rules regarding harvesting will be relaxed, allowing farmers to harvest more fields earlier than otherwise. The government has also turned to the European Commission asking for early payment of some EU-funds for farmers, as well as special crisis money.

The chairman of the Federation of Swedish Farmers, Palle Borgström, told Radio Sweden that this is a worse drought than in 1992.

“If the drought continues, farmers will have to face the decision of whether to keep all their animals for the winter or send some for slaughter,” he said.

Related stories from around the North:

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

Finland: Finland’s strawberry season hastened by warm spring weather, 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: Swedish Green Party urges action as record temperatures put strain on agriculture, Radio Sweden

United States: Alaskan Indigenous community group pushes for better fishing quotas, Alaska Public Media

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