As so many crops failed in the Balearics because of the lack of rain, alfalfa has had to be bought in to feed livestock.


More than 3,000 tons of dried alfalfa have begun to arrive and be distributed to the 147 farms in the Balearics which have requested this aid to mitigate the effects of drought. The regional agriculture ministry has set aside some 400,000 euros to help offset the initial effects of drought.

The alfalfa, which has come from the Prat de Sant Jordi and the Cooperative of Guissona, means that farmers who have lost their crops due to lack of rainfall are now able to properly feed their herds.

"This is a very good quality food with very good yields," said the minister, Vicenç Vidal, during a visit to the Son Dalmau farm in Felanitx. Fifty per cent of the cost of the dry alfalfa the farmers are receiving is being covered by grants from the local government.

"This aid is added to that which is already being received by farmers in Campos and Ses Salines (300,000 euros)," Vidal said. "At a later stage this campaign will begin the certified seed which will cost 700,000 euros."

Meanwhile the owner of Son Dalmau farm, Miquel Adrover, said: "This year we have harvested between 40 and 45 per cent less fodder than in previous years. Because of the costs of insularity of being in Majorca, without this kind of kind of aid it would be possible to be able to continue farming. For example, the production cost is five cents more expensive per litre of milk than on the mainland."


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