Saturday 22 July 2017

Prosciutto and Parmesan production at risk amid Italy dry spell

Scarce water passes under a bridge on the Po River in Staffarda, northern Italy (Rosso/ANSA via AP)
Scarce water passes under a bridge on the Po River in Staffarda, northern Italy (Rosso/ANSA via AP)

Italy's farm lobby has warned agricultural production is plummeting because of prolonged heat and dry weather - and authorities are now rationing water and declaring a state of emergency in some areas.

Milk levels are down 20% because cows are too hot to eat.

Prosciutto and Parmesan production is similarly at risk because animals in Parma are sweltering and the Po River that irrigates the area is 1.5 metres (5ft) below normal.

Rome's mayor has signed an ordinance regulating water for gardens, pools and car washes.

The farm lobby Coldiretti estimates farm losses of one billion euros (£880 million) for the first half of 2017, with June setting records for heat and dryness.

Italy has declared a state of emergency for Parma and Piacenza.

Sardinian shepherds protested on Friday to demand similar action.

AP

Press Association

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