Dutch farmers whose crops and herds are struggling due to the persistent drought this summer are eligible for financial help from European subsidies.
Translation by Traci White
The current drought, which is the longest dry spell in the Netherlands in decades, has forced dairy and cattle farmers to feed their herds with their winter reserves due to the lack of fresh grass growing in the fields, and produce farmers across the country are facing the prospect of smaller fruits and vegetables.
The European Commission is coming to the aid of agricultural professionals by making it easier for them to qualify for European subsidies and making certain exceptions to policy, such as permitting crops left fallow for rotation to be used to grow feed for grazing.
RTV Noord reports that the European Commission is making aid more readily available in response to requests from a number of member states. Many of the subsidies can be paid out more quickly, too: farms should have access to the funding in October rather than in December, which is usually when moneys are allocated.
EU agricultural secretary Phil Hogan is encouraging all member states to do everything within their power to help out their domestic agricultural sector. Local governments can compensate farmers for 90 percent of the damage caused due to the drought: up to 15,000 euros can be given to individual farms on a discretionary basis without additional authorisation on the European level.
Earlier this week, the Dutch agricultural authority LTO called for extra emergency measures to be put in place, including allowing farmers to water their crops more and for longer periods, permitting them to grow more feed for their livestock for the winter months and letting farms spread fertiliser at different times.
Photo source: pxhere
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