Athugið þessi frétt er meira en 2 mánaða gömul.

Like watching money blow away

30.09.2022 - 18:52
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Óðinn Svan - RÚV
Grain farmers in the Eyjafjörður area watched last weekend as millions of krónur literally blew away in the form of wheat, barley, and other crops destroyed by the autumn storm. One farmer who lost half his harvest says the time has come to set up an insurance fund for Icelandic grain farmers.

Good harvest despite cold summer

After a cold and wet summer in North Iceland, the unusually good weather in September led to hopes the harvest in Eyjafjörður might be relatively good after all—but the severe storm that hit on Sunday scuppered those hopes.

Farmer Hermann Ingi Gunnarsson told RÚV the ripe corn ready for harvest was shaken so violently that the grains simply fell to the ground, leaving just straw behind. Meanwhile, plants that were less well-developed broke in the wind and will no longer bear grains.

When RÚV visited this week, harvesting was underway, but the fields looked ragged and battered compared to the week before and up to half the grain has been lost. All the financial cost of the wind damage falls on the farmers.

“We don’t live with any insurance system like other farmers in Europe and elsewhere in the world. We have called for the ability to buy insurance for damage like this but it is just not on offer. It is crazy that we are left to bear responsibility for food security in this country and we can’t insure ourselves against these natural hazards,” Hermann says.

How much damage is this for you personally, in krónur?

“I would think this lies somewhere between three and four million, just in lost harvest.”

Perhaps some people might say it’s a mistake to even try growing grains in Iceland, due to the weather?

“Yes it’s clearly a mistake to grow corn, everywhere in the world. Because people have suffered losses. Both in Canada, Russia, and Ukraine, because of all sorts of weather events, but people are insured there. The state stands with the farmers there, but they don’t here.”

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