The drought is already threatening crops and livestock throughout Andalusia.

A lack of precipitation and a shortage of stored water is leading farmers and livestock breeders to an extremely "critical" situation that threatens to wipe out crops from many farms in Andalusia, so the sector demands solutions and a deep reflection on the production model.

Despite the great "cost" problems, the current drought situation is "the most serious and the most important for the sector," according to Eduardo Martín, spokesman for Asaja Andalucía, who warns that the "total storm" is forming to "deliver the final blow to the agricultural sector."

A lack of rain and drought that "is not new" and that "far from disappearing, persists" and "aggravates the situation" even more than last year, so that farms are going through a "very complex and very hard agricultural campaign."

It is the same feeling expressed by the general secretary of the Union of Small Farmers and Livestock Breeders (UPA) of Andalusia, Cristóbal Cano, who emphasizes that the situation is "very complicated" since this first quarter of the year "has not rained at all," practically "much less than expected or desired."


A "generalized" situation throughout Andalusia that affects all crops "in the same way" although the urgencies depend on the type of plantation.

Eduardo Martín ensures that all crops that depend on irrigation such as "rice, industrial tomato, cotton or corn" are in an "absolutely complicated" situation that "is not solved with a little rain," since they require continuous precipitation.

Similarly, Cristóbal Cano explains that there are crops "such as onion or garlic" that are in a "critical" situation and need immediate water "to be able to save the crops," hence the request to the Guadalquivir Hydrographic Confederation (CHG) to advance water allocations, something that the basin organization is not currently considering.

A request that will be extended to the olive grove to "help it have a dignified flowering," since the prospects are that "in the medium term it will not rain either," which, added to the high temperatures, causes the situation for the crop par excellence in Andalusia to be "very worrying," Cano assures.

On the other hand, rain-fed crops, mainly all winter cereals which include "the range of wheat, barley or oats," or even spring cereals "such as sunflowers," are in an "absolutely critical" state since "they are holding up" but it is already evident that "they will start to regress in a vertiginous way," warns Martín.

"It is true that it had a good start because there were rains at the end of November and December that helped the sowing to go well, but since then, there has been a lot of delay and we will see if they are not lost," laments Cano.


A situation that is totally similar to "extensive livestock farming," since it will begin to "lose pastures" that lead the livestock breeder to "buy feed and carry water," which represents a "brutal extra cost" for the farms that seriously threatens their subsistence, points out Martín.

But it is all the trees such as "almonds, citrus or fruit trees," in addition to the aforementioned olive trees, that "look bad," since spring is the "fundamental breeding season," and when the tree "does not have enough moisture and nutrients" it will draw from the "few reserves it has" and "will not be able to bear fruit," Martín explains.

There are no better or worse areas, only worse and much worse," says the spokesperson for Asaja, who describes the situation as "homogeneous" throughout Andalusia, and if the western part "is very affected," the eastern part "almost even more so," something that also happens "throughout the entire peninsula."

And although there are no "magic wands" and it is not possible to predict when it will rain, many farmers and ranchers are considering "conversion" or even "abandoning cultivation," although "profitability" is a determining factor when "planning" crops, according to Martin.

"We have to analyse things with perspective," according to Cano, who recalls that many traditional crops shifted to woody ones, although he believes that the situation of climate change "must be taken into account" and, therefore, it is necessary to "reflect on the agricultural production model," a debate that "must be on the table" in the face of the "reality check" that the drought represents.