In the province of Drenthe, farmers are sounding the alarm about the serious consequences of the current drought for the potato harvest.
Farmers in Groningen and Friesland have also expressed concerns about the lack of precipitation, but the situation in Drenthe appears to be more dire. Some of the potatoes can still be harvested, but it is likely to be a meager year. “I don’t expect us to file for bankruptcy tomorrow, but you can see that there is hardly any income this year. We’re basically working for free for a year,” Jan Reinier de Jong, a farmer in Drenthe, told RTV Drenthe.
De Jong says that he is very alarmed by the record-breaking temperatures and persistent drought. His potato plants are failing as a result, which has direct consequences for his bottom line. “It is sad in the field at the moment. The temperatures that we are now experiencing are disastrous for the plants,” says the Odoorn farmer. “The yield is considerably less. The crop is so affected and withered that I hardly expect any growth, even if it were to rain tomorrow.”
Some scattered showers have fallen on De Jong’s fields, but the farmer says it is not nearly enough to provide the dry fields with sufficient water. In combination with a prolonged drought in 2018, De Jong says he is considering throwing in the towel, but he is still hoping for the best for himself and his fellow farmers. “We also have good years, so I expect my colleagues will still have enough savings to tide them over.”