25% rainfall deficit in April, "impact" to be expected on cereals

Winter crops, such as wheat or barley, which are currently in the development phase, are beginning to experience situations that will affect yields“, we indicated to the Ministry of Agriculture.

There will be an impact on the grain situation“, it was estimated, even if he “is still much too early to have a precise assessment“.

The dry and hot weather at the end of April and this beginning of May could also, if it persists, affect spring crops, such as sunflowers, beets and corn, as well as forages, while grass shoots which have so far been rather better than usual, are slowing down.

Following meetings with water agencies and professionals from the agricultural world, the ministries notably announced that the counter “Third agricultural revolution“opened in April to help farmers cope with climate change and initially endowed with 20 million euros, was to be topped up”an additional 20 million“.

Faced with the risk of drought this summer, the government also announced at the end of April that water agencies could spend an additional 100 million euros to help agricultural sectors adapt to climate change or create water reservoirs. , a measure contested by environmental associations and some peasant unions.

Already, 15 departments are subject to restrictions ranging from encouraging water savings (vigilance stage) to prohibiting the watering of gardens or fields at certain times (alert), which can go as far as a 50% reduction in water withdrawals for agricultural purposes or a total ban on water withdrawals for washing cars or watering green spaces (reinforced alert).

These measures are taken as the situation evolves at the departmental level by the prefects, whose role has been reinforced to ensure that the local consultation processes that are the “territorial projects for water management” (PTGE).

In France, 5% of agricultural land is irrigated, ie nearly 1.4 million hectares. The rate rises to 14% in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

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