France’s Grain Harvest Hampered by Fires, Heatwave
A building heatwave and resulting fires are hampering the early stages of France’s grain harvest this year.
In order to prevent the spread of fires, the EU’s top grain producing country is destroying hundreds of hectares of crops to act as a firebreak as temperatures across the country’s grain belt reach 40 degrees Celsius. In Eure-et-Loir, located in one of France’s top grain belts, authorities have also ordered farmers to plow a 10-meter-wide border around grain fields to prevent the spread of fires.
Fires have been reported in Burgundy, Picardy, and Seine-et-Marne, with 140 fires destroying 606 hectares as of the last week of June.
Estimates for France’s grain output this year have already been reduced due to the country’s ongoing dry spell, and although the fires have so far destroyed only a minor portion of France’s 1.3 million hectares of barley and 9.6 million hectares of cereals sown this year, continuing fires could reduce harvests even further.