From Iceland — Farmers Becoming Increasingly Concerned About Continued Drought

Farmers Becoming Increasingly Concerned About Continued Drought

Published May 11, 2021

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In an interview with Fréttablaðið, the chair of the Farmer’s Association, Gunnar Þorgeirsson, has said that the weather conditions in the next few days will determine whether farmers’ plans for uncultivated crops will be disrupted this year.

The weather in recent weeks has been dry which has caused many wildfires across the country. The National Commissioner of Police’s Civil Protection Department has declared a level of uncertainty due to the weather.

No go zone

The area where the level of uncertainty applies extends from Eyjafjöll to the south of Snæfellsnes. The public has been urged to exercise caution with open fires in these areas and others where vegetation is dry.

Yesterday, vegetation in an area the size of two football pitches in Guðmundarlundur in Kópavogur was burned and last week there was an extensive fire in Heiðmörk which is considered to be the largest since the beginning.

Never thought we’d need rain so badly

Gunnar stated that it is important for rain to come soon so that the crops can grow properly.

“It is the case that farmers who intend to sow vegetables can not wait much longer for precipitation,” says Gunnar. “The night frost is making it difficult for farmers, but the frost makes things more difficult in the fields. The situation is worst in the uplands of Árnessýsla, where 80 percent of the country’s vegetable production takes place. Then I heard from farmers in the north of the moors today who say that the night frost has a considerable effect on their work.”

“Even though it is sunny and dry, the air temperature is not high and the night frost is considerable,” Gunnar continues. “It was, for example, nine degrees below zero at Þingvellir this weekend. Now we just lie in prayer and hope that it starts to warm up at night and rain during the day.”

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