A shortage of forage could mean less production. | Archive


The lack of rain in Mallorca is an increasing concern for the island's farmers, and the immediate forecast doesn't indicate that there will be any up to Christmas.

The situation is said to have worsened in recent weeks. The president of the Asaja agricultural businesses association, Joan Company, says that forage which had sprouted has since died off because of the drought. The majority of cereal and forage fields are affected. "These represent 70% of cultivated dry land."

Irrigated crops are far less problematic. But as more irrigation than usual for this time of year may be needed, this could well have an impact on water reserves for the summer. Crops such as almond trees, olive trees and vines will suffer the consequences of the lack of rain and higher temperatures.

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As a shortage of forage seems inevitable, food will have to be bought in. But as this will affect profits, the number of animals may have to be reduced. If there isn't adequate pasture, "the landscape of Mallorca cannot be maintained".

The Farmers Union has warned about the "extreme situation" facing the countryside. There is uncertainty regarding cereal crops, and the union says that some farmers are considering not planting due to a lack of economic viability.

Company highlights the fact that average rainfall in Mallorca in October was 41 litres per square metre. The expected average is 75. "This got worse in November, with 40 litres per square metre. In 2022 we had 100."

Given the situation, there is a call for the Balearic agriculture ministry to convene the climate change working party and to do so immediately. Aid to compensate farmers, the union argues, needs to be prepared.