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News Italy: the ongoing drought in the north threatens agriculture yields and energy production

The European Commission’s “Drought in northern Italy - March 2022” report offers an assessment of the evolution and impact of the 4-month long drought in the region, based on data from the JRC Global Drought Observatory (GDO) of the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (CEMS). The precipitation deficit and mild weather have caused lower than average soil moisture for most of northern Italy, already before the plants start the real growth season, meaning the problem is likely to be exacerbated once plants really start to extract water. Therefore, even if winter crops in northern Italy still appear normal, the water stress reduces the yield potential, and rain is urgently needed. Not only to avoid further reducing the yield potential but also to favour fertiliser application and allow for good spring-crops sowing conditions.  The researchers warn that water availability for irrigation will be lower than usual. Higher water competition among different sectors and within the agricultural one is likely to occur if the current deficit will not be reduced by abundant rainfall. The low level of the Po river creates further problems and concerns in its delta as it favours salt seawater infiltration into the fertile low lying agricultural areas. This phenomenon may further exacerbate agricultural losses.

Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
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Source of information joint-research-centre
Geographical coverage Italy,
News date 11/05/2022
Working language(s) ENGLISH