The needs are 36 million tons per year
The ASAJA agrarian association has sounded the alarm, making good the saying that misfortunes never come alone. According to its director of International Relations, the Spanish cereal harvest will suffer a significant cut this season, remaining at the gates of 15.5 million tons, 21% less than last year’s figures.
The needs of our country are 36 million tons per year, both for human and animal consumption (the pig herd is among our main exports, but it needs a lot of grain and oilseeds). A gap that Spain compensated until now by importing corn from the Ukraine -30% of what is needed to make feed-, 17% of the wheat consumed or up to 60% of the sunflower, estimated at 500,000 tons.
The reasons for this production behavior are several, summarizes Ignacio López. On the one hand, the increase in the prices of energy, fertilizers or seeds; also of phytosanitary products (their lower use has increased pests and diseases of winter crops), all of which refer to the war in Ukraine. This circumstance has minimized the expected effect of the exceptional possibility of planting crops on fallow land, a measure approved by the EU at the initiative of Spain and from which 600,000 hectares were going to benefit in our country.
“Finally, they will not reach half, since the costs have put many producers back.” The collapse of figures has also influenced the heat and the lack of rain, as well as the damage attributable to wildlife that has decimated crops and led to the abandonment of cereal activity in many regions.
The increase in production costs has forced the EU to allow imports from third countries above the limits established up to now. Also to launch aid packages aimed above all at farmers, which in the Spanish case are substantiated in a line of private storage of 7,000 tons of pork, 169 million in direct aid for dairy farmers, and another 150 million for those of sheep, cattle, poultry or goats.