News 191 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Heavy rains delay Italian wheat harvest

Italy is experiencing heavy rains for more than a week, causing flooding of many wheat fields in the country. According to farmers and grains traders this causes delays in harvesting and thus for next year's planting.

In some areas where sown fields have been flooded, sowing would have to start anew, they said. "We will have delays in the sowing campaign. Moreover, we will have a drop in sown areas and a drop in output," Lorenzo Bazzana, analyst at Italy's biggest farmers association Coldiretti, told Reuters.

Even where fields have not been sown yet, it would take a while for the land to dry enough for tractors and other machinery to move in, causing further delays in the campaign, Bazzana said. He said it was too early to give precise forecasts because rains continued across Italy.

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