The Netherlands needs ‘two or three months of typically Dutch weather’ to make up for the months of drought, according to the head of the infrastructure ministry’s roads and waterways division.
Michele Blom said on Twitter on Wednesday that ‘a little shower is not enough’, referring to last night’s rain in some parts of the country. Measures to restrict water usage, such as the ban on using surface water on crops remain in force, Blom said.
The water shortfall this summer is currently around 306 millimetres and it will require weeks of steady rain to make this up. Sudden heavy showers will not benefit the ground because it is so dry, the water will simply flow away, Josine Camps, spokeswoman for the KNMI weather bureau, told broadcaster NOS.
Farm minister Carola Schouten has agreed to extend bridging loans to farmers who have lost crops and cannot wait until the end of the year when EU agricultural subsidies are handed out.
‘The drought has hurt our farmers and market gardeners,’ she said. ‘This is a difficult and uncertain time for them.’ Farmers will also be allowed to spread manure on their land up to September 15, two weeks beyond the normal cut-off point, the minister said.
Rabobank said it is also prepared to extend bridging loans to farmers or give them more time to pay off debts
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