Hot summer has mixed effect on Swiss fields
The hot, dry summer in Switzerland was a boom for sunflowers but a bust for soya and grain maize.
Sunflowers enjoyed the warm weather and the 16,513 tonnes harvested was slightly more than in 2017 and around 12% more than had been predicted at the end of May, Swiss Granum, the industry organisation said on Wednesday.
The soya harvest, however, collapsed by around a third to 3,740 tonnes. The grain maize crop fell by almost a fifth to 133,700 tonnes, a result of the arid conditions. That said, Swiss Granum estimated that around 15% of the grain maize surface had been stored in silos and thus not harvested as grain maize.
These figures reflect a summer marked by high temperatures and drought-like conditions throughout Switzerland – conditions that prompted the government to introduce emergency measures to help affected farmers.
Indeed, 2018 was the hottest year in most parts of the country since systematic weather record keeping was introduced in 1864. Temperatures north of the Alps were 2.5°C above the average of the years 1961 to 1990, the weather service of Swiss public television, SRF, said on Monday.
This year is the fourth time over the past decade that new temperature records have been set.