Extreme Winter Drought Kills Crops in Spain and Portugal

Amid record levels of low or no rainfall at all, farmers in both Portugal and Spain, who are growing produce for all of Europe, said they are worried their crops for this season will be ruined.

Spanish officials said if clouds don’t unleash in the next two weeks, farmers would be needing emergency subsidies.

In the last three months of 2021, Spain recorded just 35% of the average rainfall, and there has been almost no rain since then.

While only 10% of Spain was officially declared under a “prolonged drought,” there are large areas in the south that could impact the irrigation of crops.

COAG, the leading association of farmers and livestock breeders in Spain, said that if it does not rain heavily in the coming month, rain-fed crops including cereals, olives, nuts, and vineyards could lose 60% to 80% of their production.

Neighboring Portugal has also seen little rain since last October, and at the end of January, 45% of the country was enduring “severe” or “extreme” drought conditions, according to the national weather agency IPMA.

Meanwhile, the skeleton of the famous ghost village in northwestern Spain, which was submerged 30 years ago, appeared in its entirety.

The ruins of Aceredo emerged with a rusted carcass of a car, a stone fountain with water still spouting, and the old road leading to what used to be the local bar.

“Look at it now,” said Penín, who lives in the same county, pointing at the cracked, yellow bed of the reservoir. “It’s so sad.”

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