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Whirlwind and hail destroy crops in Kubile parish

Take note – story published 4 years and 11 months ago

The farmers of the Kabile parish are assessing the damages wrought by a whirlwind and a hailstorm, reported LSM's Latvian service on July 13. The twister destroyed sown crops and greenhouses in a matter of seconds. Thus, from an overall of 400 hectares of crops, only 100 ha will be threshed this summer.

The whirlwind went in a broad line over the Kabile parish, sweeping up the roofs of many small and medium-sized farmsteads, bringing rain and massive hail stones, which virtually cut up the gentle grain stalks.

"We had hail here. God started tossing ice “prjaņiki”. They cut the crops, grass, all the leaves. We've gathered a cart full of leaves, apples. All those small gardens, of which nothing is left. I have 59 hectares – 8 survived, but that's it,” said the owner of the “Dunduri” farm Andis Šauša.

Time has passed, but the farmers are unable to recall the disaster without being moved. Every flower in the garden, every fruit and vegetable, was tended and cultivated, not to mention hundreds of hectares of grain which were ravaged in a matter of seconds.

"A white wall came on. The noise was so loud that you could barely heard the thunder," said the owner of the “Akmeņkalni” farmstead Ervīns Vīksna.

"It looked as if an atom bomb has exploded. Gardens, flowerbeds, fields – the impressions are hard to describe,” remarked the owner of “Akmeņkalni” farmstead Hedviga Vīksna.

A single hectare of land has come at a cost of 400 euros to the farmers. Both wheat and micronutrients – potassium and nitrogen needed for plant development – were purchased. Petroleum too had cost money. 

"These are very large sums, loaned to be returned with grain in the autumn. Thank god we are working with “Baltic Agro”. They came, looked around, wrote acts. We made an agreement that we will return the debt in any way we can. We ourselves have cattle, and they will also need to be fed,” said Hedviga. 

It is not yet possible to tell whether any of the destroyed crops may be fit as fodder. It is likely that there will be enough for pigs, but more fodder will have to be bought for other cattle, the farmers reasoned. 

"From the ears that aren't white, we'll hopefully get the fodder. I expected to have a record this year – 7 tonnes from a hectare,” confessed Ervīns. 

"We've had everything in the last three years. Don't know what else may come. In 2017, it was the humidity, last year, it was the drought. These farms in particular suffered a lot,”

said Daiga Mellere, head of the Kuldīga County Office of the Latvian Rural Advisory and Education Center.

The farmers of the Kabile parish have not insured their lands, since the insurance is expensive and the farmers chose to risk it instead.

"They were ready to get insurance, but after two hard years they have no savings left to invest. You need 5-6 thousand to get insurance. There is no free means,” added Mellere.

Of the 400 hectares of crops, only 100 will be threshed this summer. The municipality has calculated the total loss as amounting to 90 000 euros. 

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