In some regions of Latvia up to 90% of spring crops may be lost due to drought - farmers' organization

  • 2023-06-27
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - This year, the yield of winter crops is expected to be up to 50 percent smaller than last year's, while the loss of spring crops in some regions can reach even 90 percent because of a persistent drought, Juris Lazdins, chairman of the NGO Zemnieku Saeima (Farmers' Assembly), told LETA.

Overall, the outlook on this year's harvest is not encouraging, as the crops simply did not germinate or were completely burnt in the drought, and now it is too late to reseed the fields with other crops.

"Even if the weather conditions were particularly favorable, it would not be possible to recover the lost harvest," said Lazdins, adding that hope at the moment is that the the condition of the crops will not deteriorate further and that the good quality of grains will compensate for the partial loss of the harvest. 

Lazdins noted that this year is unique in that rainfall has been very local. Whereas in the past precipitation typically fell all over Latvia, or at least across a region, this year, a municipality can receive a month's portion of rain in half an hour, while in the neighboring municipality there is not a trace of rain. 

"So the acute drought situation has eased somewhat in parts of Latvia, but there are still vast regions where it has hardly rained at all since March," the head of the farmers' organization said.