Drought in Europe: Commission outlines support for European farmers

The sun rises near power lines in Frankfurt, Germany, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. A heatwave struck large parts of Europe. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
The sun rises near power lines in Frankfurt, Germany, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. A heatwave struck large parts of Europe. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

European farmers will be able to receive a higher percentage of their advances on direct payments and payments for rural development due to new measures announced by the European Commission is support farmers facing drought conditions in Europe

The Commission is also relaxing greening regulations to give farmers more flexibility in the use of land that, in normal times, is not used for production purposes.

Agriculture Commissioner Phil  Hogan said the prolonged weather conditions are of concern to our farmers.

"The Commission maintains close contacts with the Member States and assesses the situation on the ground. As always, we stand ready to help farmers affected by the drought. That's why we decided to put in place higher payment advances as well as exemptions from certain greening rules to facilitate the production of animal feed. "

In addition to the support available under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), two decisions have been taken to help farmers:

  • Farmers will be able to receive higher  advances.  Up to 70% of their direct payments and 85% of payments related to rural development will be available in mid-October to restore their cash flow.
  • Of  derogations from certain requirements of "greening"  will be allowed. These will apply to crop diversification and Ecological Focus Area rules for fallow land. The adoption of other types of " greening  " exemptions  may also be considered, allowing farmers greater flexibility in forage production.

The second heatwave of the summer hit Europe yesterday as the continent baked in sweltering conditions.

Climate scientists warned this could become the new normal in many parts of the world, but temperate Europe - where air conditioning is rare - isn't equipped for the temperatures frying the region.

One by one, heat records are being broken across Europe. Yesterday afternoon the Paris area hit 40.6C, beating the previous record of 40.4C in 1947. Authorities said the temperature was still rising, as a result of hot, dry air coming from northern Africa that's trapped between cold stormy systems.

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London expected to see 39C while areas of Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland were facing temperatures exceeding 40C.

In Belgium, the meteorological institute said the nation saw temperatures rise past the 40C mark for the first time since records began in 1833. The new all-time high is now 40.2C, recorded close to Liege in eastern Belgium's Angleur on Wednesday.

Germany recorded 40.5C on Wednesday, and the German Weather Service was expecting even higher temperatures yesterday.

In Austria, a two-year-old died of dehydration in the country's Styria region after he climbed into an overheated parked car without his family noticing and later fell asleep in it.

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