The thunderstorms of Saturday 15th June 2019, have destroyed many crops in the Drôme, Isère, Ardèche and Savoie (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes), say alarmed agricultural unions.
The bad weather that struck Saturday 15th June 2019 the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region caused “tens of millions of euros of damage” in many farms, said Michel Joux, president of the FRSEA, the regional branch of the FNSEA, the country’s leading agricultural union.
According to him, more precise figures should be available at the end of the week.
15,000 to 40,000 walnut trees to replant
The most affected sectors in the region were arboriculture (walnuts, apricots, cherries or peaches) mainly in Isère, Drôme and Ardèche, as well as viticulture, also in Isère and Drôme but also in Savoie.
The cereal and forage farms of Loire, Isère and Drôme were also affected, Joux said.
“There will be an impact on the harvests of the year but also losses on the funds because many trees and vines have been torn off or heavily damaged,” he said.
Isère farms has been particularly hard hit with 15,000 to 40,000 walnut trees that will have to be replanted and will not produce anything before seven or eight years, he added.
“A life’s work lost in ten minutes”
Contacted by AFP on the sidelines of a trip to southern Grésivaudan on Monday, the heart of the Isère culture, the president of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region Laurent Wauquiez has found “deep moral distress” in some farmers who have “lost a working life in ten minutes “.
The storms that hit the area on Saturday were violent and brief, accompanied by hail and heavy squalls, killing one person and causing a lot of damage.
The Minister of Agriculture Didier Guillaume, remained in the region Monday, announced Sunday that the state of natural disaster would be announced: “in the two days to come”.
For his part, Mr Wauquiez called for exemptions to set up a regional insurance fund against calamities and “asked that a regional crisis unit be set up” to “converge all the aid” quickly.