German farmers fear drought after dry winter

Warm spell not necessarily the forerunner of another hot summer but crops are already suffering.

A dry field is pictured near the city of Liebenwalde, eastern Germany.
A dry field near the city of Liebenwalde, eastern Germany [File: Tobias Schwarz/AFP]

The temperature on Thursday in Berlin was recorded at 26 degrees Celsius. That is 11C above average and about 5C below the record. This is reminiscent of the spring of 2018 which led to a record-breaking hot summer and autumn in much of central Europe.

According to, the four-month period from April to July 2018 was the warmest in Germany since the beginning of weather recording. As a consequence, by August, about 90 percent of the German territory was suffering a drought.

Germany’s DWD weather service says that soil moisture deficits lingering since Europe’s 2018 drought have not been relieved by winter rainfall. DWD agricultural meteorologist Udo Busch stated that conditions after the winter in many regions of Germany were “significantly worse in 2019 compared to the previous year”.

German winters are supposed to be wet, but not this one. While the Black Forest in southern Germany may have had a good dose of rain and snow, this has not been so for most of the country. Berlin should expect about 330mm of rain between September and now; it has recorded 233mm – 70 percent of the average.

Farmers in Brandenburg, the state that encircles Berlin, are already worried about their harvests. “We’re hoping ardently for rain; the deciding month for us, is May,” said regional farmers’ federation spokesman Tino Erstling.

As temperatures rose rapidly in central Europe for this Easter weekend, the weather may have seemed like an enjoyable early start to summer, but unlike this time last year, the weather pattern is not static. Over the next few days at least, Germany will feel rain and a significant drop in temperature, as will most other central European countries, which is how spring should be.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies