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News 191 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Spain faces second year of drought

The drought has entered its second year in Spain and there is no sign of relief in the short term. Spanish farmers are preparing for losses and the government is taking emergency measures.

Spain suffered its worst drought since records began in 2005/06 and the National Meteorological Institute (INM) says the drought persisted in the first quarter of the new water year, which runs from September to August. National water reserves currently stand at just 45% of capacity, according to environment ministry data. It is not expected to rain in the coming 2 months.

Crops devastated
Spain's cereal crop was devastated by last year's drought. For this crop year, the regional government of Andalusia has already taken measures to help farmers face the drought. Farmers can leave 50% of their land fallow and still claim subsidies - the same amount as last year, but up sharply from the 10% set aside in good years.
"People are fearing the worst, that they are not going to be able to sow crops that need a lot of water... for example cotton and maize," said Ramon Garcia, crop analyst with farmers' union COAG.

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