“Despite so much rain, we were able to sow barely fifteen hectares out of our thirty hectares”

Throughout the month of March and shortly thereafter, extraordinary amounts of rain fell in the central region, causing great disappointment to farmers: Chinon winegrowers of the Val de Vienne were flooded. And grain growers in Loir-et-Cher have abandoned their spring sowing: “South-west of Indra sometimes a month’s worth of rain falls in less than 24 hours. This in addition to the soil being saturated with water explains these major and intense floods.We emphasize among the volunteers of the Meteo Center Association at 90 stations spread across 6 departments.

At the Guilberdière organic farm in Monthou-sur-Biver (Loir-et-Cher), we are disappointed. The weather station in the neighboring city of Chalez measured 98.2 mm of rainfall in March, compared with 21.6 in March 2022 or 15 mm in March 2012. “If our soil was sandy, we wouldn’t have problems with water infiltration… but it’s clayey and retains a lot of water. Since it was already raining heavily at that time, we were not able to do our winter sowing. So we started spring sowing with specific durum wheat varieties », says Bertrand Monier, one of the four operators. But the weather was the worst. “Despite all this rain, we were able to sow barely fifteen hectares out of our thirty hectares, that too not in good conditions and it is too late to finish now”,

Hoping to make ends meet, Mr. Monier decided to make the most of his upcoming poor harvest. “This means that we are not going to respect everyone, especially the cooperatives. Luckily, they won’t fine us. It has to be said that with the biological crisis, they already have a year’s stock of raw wheat”, So Mr. Monier intends to turn all his wheat into flour, which he will use to make pasta or which he will distribute to organic bakeries in the area.

economic uncertainty

On the banks of the Solon, Florian Perrin has been a grain farmer in Saint-Laurent-Nouan for four generations. The two cooling towers of the EDF power station overlook its fields. “It has rained very heavily in recent days. In the plots I sowed this fall, water has accumulated in some places, but the impact is moderate. However, on my grass fields, I still have to delay feeding hay to my cows. Which becomes less rich as the stage progresses and the cows destroy the very tall grass. My hay stock is clearly dwindling as I place them in buildings.” Florian Perrin still has 30 hectares of maize to plant. “But first the fields would dry up, not to mention the diseases that would spread on the grain without our intervention,” says Mr. Perrin, who deals with the minimum. The Beauce plain, on the other bank of the Loire, is distinguished by its vast agricultural areas, mainly cereals and oilseeds. At the moment, the rapeseed is submerged there but in flower: so it is too early to know whether it will produce seeds properly or not.

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