ROME – Italy’s farm lobby is warning that agricultural production is plummeting nationwide because of prolonged heat and dry weather — and authorities are now rationing water and declaring a state of emergency in some areas.
Milk levels are down 20 percent because cows are too hot to eat. Prosciutto and parmesan production is similarly at risk because animals in Parma are sweltering and the Po River that irrigates the area is 1.5 meters (5 feet) below normal. Rome’s mayor has signed an ordinance regulating water for gardens, pools and car washes.
Dried-up beds and low water levels are seen on the river Po due to exceptional drought during a heat wave near Piacenza, Italy pic.twitter.com/lh4oDW1a7h
— AFP news agency (@AFP) 23 de junio de 2017
The farm lobby Coldiretti estimates farm losses of 1 billion euros for the first half of 2017, with June setting records for heat and dryness.
Italy has declared a state of emergency for Parma and Piacenza. Sardinian shepherds protested Friday to demand similar.