Ireland - Fears of potato shortage as bad weather hits harvest

Experts are warning of possible shortages of Irish potatoes in the coming months due to extremely wet conditions. Just 30% of the national potato crop has been harvested so far this year, with poor ground conditions making harvesting virtually impossible in some areas. A leading expert in the national farm advisory service Teagasc has warned of, "big big losses" if the current wet ground conditions do not improve. Michael Hennessy, Head of Crops Knowledge Transfer, said the difficulties are impacting the consumer supply chain. He said: "When potatoes come to maturity they don't like sitting in wet ground, if they are sitting in wet ground the potential is there for more rot. Modern potato harvesting sees potatoes being stored in big refrigeration units, perfect for when the consumer wants them, [but] the current conditions make that difficult". In the northeast, where half of the national crop of potatoes is grown, the rainfall in August and September was twice the average. The impact has been very significant with hundreds of acres of potatoes still in the ground. Thomas McKeown, who farms near Navan in Co Meath, said that "the problem is that any rain that falls after this is just going to make it worse, because the ground is at saturation point. The rivers are way up, the Boyne and the Blackwater are very, very high". Mr McKeown who farms potatoes and tillage, has harvested less than 10% of his potatoes due to the poor conditions. He is also the chairperson of the potato committee of the IFA and said there is a concern that all of the national crop will not be harvested this year as a result of the wet weather. The problems do not stop there as only 10-15% of winter crops have so far been planted. Wet conditions are causing significant problems, with ground too wet to plough or prepare for seeding. Winter crops like barley are a valuable and profitable enterprise on many farms and any delay in planting them could impact farmers' incomes in 2020. The big delay in planting crops means that a window of opportunity to get them in the ground may be lost and farmers might be left with no option but to use alternative, later and less profitable crops. Mr Hennessy said: "Since the ploughing championships when there was really fine weather, it started raining after that, and it hasn’t stopped since. That is the very time when people are trying to get potatoes out, maize harvested and all the other crops into the ground. In some counties planting is as low as 5%". Tillage expert Siobhán Walsh who works with farming website Agriland said: "This is serious, only about 10-15% of the winter cereal average was sewn last week, and it hasn’t progressed much further this week, because weather hasn’t allowed it. "Fields are waterlogged and farmers can’t get into their fields. If farmers can’t get the most profitable crops into the ground, the knock on effect next year is a reduction in income". Farmers are facing a hit to their incomes next year if they do not get crops in the ground, and consumers could be looking at fewer Irish potatoes on the shelves next year. Source -

Europe - Around 66,000 ha damaged - 23 million euros in damages


While Vereinigte Hagelversicherung VVaG reported 30,000 hectares damaged just a few days ago, this figure has more than doubled within a few days. A good 66,000 hectares were registered for regulation from June 18 to 25. This is due to so-called supercells, which came from France through Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria to Austria and the Czech Republic, causing hailstorms over a length of several hundred kilometers. Local heavy rainfall with enormous amounts of rain from so-called "water bombs" and hailstones the size of tennis balls caused damage to almost all crops, often with total losses. On June 22 and again on June 24, the damage area stretched from Lake Starnberg via Munich to Passau. In Baden-Württemberg, the Neckar-Alb region was hardest hit on June 21 and, just two days later, the strip from Freiburg via Reutlingen to Esslingen. A locally intense area of damage extended along the North Sea coast in the Groningen-Norden-Aurich triangle on both the Dutch and German sides of the border. In addition, abroad, the polder areas on the IJsselmeer and the Baltic region were particularly affected. After the first surveys, Vereinigte Hagel now expects damage of about 20 to 23 million euros, a doubling compared to the beginning of last week. Supercells and what they are about - currently no end in sight The background to the now considerably higher damage figures are so-called supercells, which have a much higher damage potential than ordinary thunderstorms due to their rotation and longevity. "Their most important feature is the so-called "mesocyclone," a powerful rotating updraft. It creates a negative pressure on the ground so that, like a vacuum cleaner, warm and energetic air can be constantly sucked in at the ground and reach the upper edge of the troposphere (above 10 km altitude). There the warm air is sucked in and there is also the danger of possible tornadoes. Subsequently, in the area of the sinking cold air, it is not uncommon for extreme downbursts to reach the hurricane range. Over time, supercells develop a momentum of their own that prevents the sinking cold air (as compensation for the rising warm air) from entering the warm air area. Thus, the mesocyclone is fed with warm air for several hours. Due to the longevity and massive power of the rotating updraft, hailstones can be flung into the air several times, growing into large hailstones. From Monday through Thursday, conditions in southern Germany were ideal for these rotating monsters. A warm and humid air mass was stored in the lower atmosphere, so to speak the fuel for the engine of the rotating mesocyclones. In addition, the wind near the ground came from an easterly to northeasterly direction (which favored suction), veered nearly 180° to the southwest up to an altitude of about 5 kilometers, and increased significantly. In short, there was sufficient directional and velocity shear. This is a basic requirement for the formation of rotation in the updraft region and helps to prevent the sinking cold air from reaching the front of the thunderstorm cell." And it's set to continue. The DWD forecasts heavy thunderstorms in the south and southwest of Germany on Monday evening, as well as on Tuesday. Experts prepared for this, because in June or July such weather phenomena are not uncommon, as Vereinigte Hagel knows from almost 200 years of experience. Source -


India - Crop loss imminent as IMD rules out rainfall till August-end in Odisha

With the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday ruling out the possibility of any significant rainfall in the State till the end of August, drought seems to have become imminent. IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra told media persons that 27 districts of the State have received 33 per cent less than the normal rainfall from June to August and deficit rainfall in August was 55 per cent. 


Germany - 2021 wheat crop to fall 3.6% after adverse weather

Germany's 2021 wheat crop of all types is expected to fall 3.6% on the year to 21.37 million tonnes after poor weather, according to estimates released by the agriculture ministry on Wednesday. Crops suffered from swings in weather, with a cold spring followed by a hot, dry start to the summer and then unwelcome harvest-time rain and storms, the ministry said in preliminary forecasts for the 2021 harvest. 


Egypt - Weather has caused a reduction in the mango harvest

There’s still a few more months left in the Egyptian mango season, but the year has brought significant challenges. The weather resulted in 30% less production this year, and the heat could be a threat to other Egyptian produce as well. Demand has been solid, but the lower harvest has resulted in a price increase. 


USA - Severe weather destroys thousands of acres of crop in Fairbank

Thousands of acres of corn and soybean in Fairbank were destroyed Tuesday night after severe storms rolled through eastern Iowa. A clearer picture of the scale of destruction was made clear on Wednesday. Adrienna Olson with the Buchanan County Farm Service Agency says only a few reports from Fairbank and Hazelton Township have been reported. They include corn and soybean damage. 


USA - Heat bears down on California grapes

California grape growers continue to contend with heat and drought issues. “There is ample volume of red and green seedless. There will be some shortages though I imagine,” says Philippe Markarian of Fresno, CA-based Mirabella Farms. “We won’t see them at the moment but it will be on red and black seedless grapes. 


India - Farmers in Erode urged to insure crops for Kharif season

The district administration has asked the farmers in the district to insure crops under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme) for Kharif season 2021 so that they can get relief for crop loss due to natural calamities, pest attack or disease outbreak in the current rabi season. 


Online Agroinsurance Conference to be held on October 4-5, 2021

Due to the concerns around health safety of conference participants and in accordance with the guidance from the Georgian health authorities, AgroInsurance is forced to reschedule Conference to year 2022. More detailed information about new dates and arrangements will be provided in February 2022. Notwithstanding another reschedule of the Conference, AgroInsurance is committed to conduct the online webinar with 2 sessions on October 4-5, 2021. 


Malaysia - Sarawak Disaster Management Committee to assist durian farmers

The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee is intent on working out a mechanism for durian farmers in areas under Covid-19 lockdown to bring out their fruits to the market. Its chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said he would discuss with the divisional health department to work out a suitable arrangement.