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Ariège: With the high temperatures and the lack of water, farmers are already starting to harvest

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Between the high temperatures and the lack of rain, the harvests started early this year and the yield is likely to be impacted.

Since the beginning of the week, on the Toulis family farm between Vernet and Saverdun, Rémi, the owner, and his two sons have been busy in the wheat fields. If usual at this time of the year the pace is still rather calm, this year the wheat fields are already well matured and the harvest can begin.

With a fortnight in advance, the harvester from the Toulis family farm is therefore called upon to harvest the wheat on the 120 hectares of plots where Rémi Toulis has sown this cereal.

A crying lack of water

With this heat wave, farmers’ seeds were inevitably tested, but as the 64-year-old Saverdunois reminds us, the problems in the fields do not come only from this episode of high heat lasting a few days: “The seeds of course suffered from heat but they suffer above all from a lack of water, since since May there has been very little rainfall. With the hot weather, there was also faster evaporation and therefore accentuated the lack of water”.

Along the fields and while showing the effects of the heat on the wheat, Alexandre Toulis says: “As soon as we stop watering the plots, we directly see the seeds suffer from the lack of water”.

Performance impacted

The observation of the lack of water is obvious and a real problem for the farmers of the region. With such temperatures since May, the wheat has not grown as it should have: “Here, we are in a region where there is usually rain and rather cool temperatures at the end of May and the beginning June, explains Rémi Toulis. This year, with this drought, the wheat is scalded, the ears have turned white and therefore the quality will be less good”.

This lower-than-normal quality is also reflected in the harvest yield, which is expected to be below: “The first wheat crops are beginning to be harvested. I already have some numbers. Yields are ten, fifteen quintals less than usual after the first harvests, which are the prettiest. So when we’re done, I think there will be disasters.

A reality that is all the more damaging since Rémi Toulis knows that this year, the harvests were eagerly awaited: “In the current context, the land needs food and we are going to have yields that will be mediocre in our region”.

The harvests have therefore been in full swing for a few days and this heat and this lack of water will undoubtedly also have consequences for corn, rapeseed and sunflower.


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