Durre doesn’t have a cow’s skin

Durre doesn't have a cow's skin

Eckehard kiesewetter habberge district-"no cow has ever starved to death here", says horst rost "and they don’t walk around as ribs either." 2017 was not a bad year, argues the man from the agricultural and food office (AELF) in schweinfurt "and a well-managed farm has stocks". But the durresommer 2018 has made cattle farming in the region a business with many unknowns.

Because the harvest failed to materialize, cattle feed has become a scarce commodity, many farms are already eating up their winter stocks and are desperately looking for replacements. "We’re getting something, but it’s not quality, complains a farmer from habgau. In addition, the price of hay has risen dramatically in recent weeks.

Klaus merkel, chairman of farmers in the district, reports on numerous colleagues who have given livestock for slaughter. They cut the stock to still be able to feed their cattle. But because so many are selling, meat prices are plummeting. "Double trouble", says merkel – or "market laws.

Between hope and fear

Petra grimmer gets around a lot as a deputy county farmer. Livestock farmers in particular faced the winter between hope and trepidation. Many have to reduce the stock or stretch the feed, add roughage", says the farmer from bischwind a.R., who runs a full-time farm: "you can’t let the cattle cry out."

Petra grimmer married into the farm 25 years ago. Now there are about 50 head of cattle. The son is studying agriculture and wants to join the farm one day. The grimmers are not in need "but if someone sells good food, my men were now accessing", says the farmer "because no one knows how it will turn out next year".

Many farmers are already worried about the next harvest, fearing that the intercrops will not germinate either, because the soil still lacks the necessary moisture. "A game of chance, petra grimmer "but complaining is useless."

Horst rost thinks "farmers are a people who suffer", they are used to dealing with the weather. There is also the possibility of buying in basic fodder. However, the head of the department of claims at the AELF admits that increased feed and falling cattle prices mean a business problem.

He refers to the help of the state, which is now starting (see the report below). It shows how much society values the work of farmers, says rost.

Federal agriculture minister julia klockner announced at the end of august that the consequences of the ongoing drought and heat would be classified as an "event of national significance" be recognized. This is a prerequisite for the federal government to participate in aid programs in the countries. Damage to agriculture estimated at 680 million euros nationwide. Half as much is available for aid.

"A bad joke", finds BBV chairman merkel: "that’s so little, you don’t notice it at all. In our country, this has only caused ridicule and scorn." The sum makes "a lot of difference to the public", also judged an employee at the AELF "but brings most farmers almost nothing".

A vague estimate

The farms with their headquarters and feedlots in the schweinfurt or habberge counties are all in the category of areas particularly affected by the drought, so they are all eligible to file applications. 100,000 to 200,000 euros are to be available for them. A sum that still makes horst rost "uncomfortable today" as he confesses. When the request came from the ministry, he had to guess, "just reaching into the blue". The consequences vary from region to region. "In lower franconia, there were not only "low" but also "high" populations, FEMALE RUST.

In his service area, he counts 383 farms, each of which has more than ten head of cattle. All in all, they bring the total to just under 23,500 roughage-eating animals. "These are also about the ones who are potentially eligible for a claim", explains rost: "how many then actually buy basic feed and how much and who then actually applies is completely uncertain." He does not expect a flood of applications, but rather about 50 applications: "but we can also be completely wrong."

The psychological moment: for rost, the discussion about the extreme year has a positive side effect: now the public is once again talking about agriculture and the value of farmers and their products. In the long term, insurance solutions will have to be considered, and the european union will have to do more to protect the agricultural industry, rost predicts. The state will not be able to provide emergency aid on a permanent basis, as it has done this year.