Billion-euro crop damage won't be helped by forecast rains

Too late to reverse extensive losses

Billion-euro crop damage won't be helped by forecast rains

(ANSA) - Rome, August 30 - Italian farmers will likely lose one billion euros worth of crops that can't be saved by forecast rainfall, farm organization Coldiretti said Thursday. Forecasts of rain this weekend will be too little too late to undo the damage from extremely hot, dry weather that has scorched most of Italy this summer, the farm group says. The most severe heat seen in a decade has ruined fully 50% of the tomato crop in the region of Puglia, burned off 30% of Italy's entire corn crop and up to 40% of its soybeans. Reductions as great as 20% are also expected in the sugar beet and sunflower yields as well, said Coldiretti. Rainfall forecast for this weekend will help to fight forest fires and restore water reservoirs and lakes. But it will be too late for this year's crops, the organization said.

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