A hot and dry year has caused many challenges for Swiss farmers, including crop failures. However, some crops have recorded bumper harvests.
Hikers were delighted with the beautiful summer weather and many enjoyed a beautiful autumn in the mountains with virtually no rain. For the farmers, however, the exceptionally hot and dry year has been a major challenge. Many farming families had to cope with extra work and some also experienced crop failures due to the extreme weather. For example, the lack of water caused low aftermath yields. This resulted in shortages, leading to a higher number of cows being sent to slaughter. In turn, this caused meat prices to tumble.
Good fortune for winemakers
Fortunately, some areas were able to benefit from the extraordinary weather. The plum harvest reached a record high and apple yields were also extremely good. Wine producers expect an excellent vintage in terms of both quantity and quality.
The worst drought in a century
In 2018, the National Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSchweiz recorded a year of record heat and months of low rainfall. Ten out of twelve monthly temperatures were well above the norm and six of these were extreme, according to figures. The never-ending heat not only led to a new annual record as the six-month period over the summer was the warmest since records began in 1864. This unprecedented heat was accompanied by extraordinary months of no rain. In eastern Switzerland, this massive rain deficit was noted as being a once-in-a century event, according to a press release by MeteoSchweiz.
Justine Hewson / AvS