harvests under high tension due to drought


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France 3

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F. Nicotra, France 3 Regions, L. Latour – France 3

France Televisions

The 2022 harvests started early, due to the drought. Another problem arises for farmers: the risk of fires. With numerous outbreaks of fires, farmers are called upon to be extremely vigilant.

The harvests are being watched very closely on Saturday 25 June. Jean-Bernard Prunet, farmer in the Tarn, fears the fire. “We have a fortnight in advance, approximately, and in addition it is very dry. So we risk having fire starts at any time”, he confides. A few kilometers away, a crop fire could not be avoided. Despite the efforts of firefighters, 74 hectares of wheat went up in smoke.

Heat and drought are the cause of these phenomena. Cereals have not grown enough, it is necessary to harvest at ground level. “The ground is covered with flint. These flints pass under the blade, (…) and this can cause a spark to rub, and the start of a fire”, explains Jean Rey, combine harvester driver. The fire can also come directly from the machine, which heats up to 120 degrees. In the Doubs, Etienne Vichot, a farmer, must constantly clean the dust from the harvest and reports “overheating problems” machines.

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