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Drought, heat to cause record damage to Austrian agriculture
Last Updated: 2018-08-08 10:29 | Xinhua
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A persistent lack of rainfall along with hotter-than-average weather has impacted the Austrian agricultural industry massively this year, with record damages expected, said a leading agricultural insurance group.

The ?sterreichische Hagelversicherung stated in a press release Tuesday that it presently anticipates the total cost to the agricultural industry caused by the weather at about 210 million euros (243 million U.S. dollars).

The impact on grain is estimated at 80 million euros, while that on pasture lands is an even greater 130 million euros, it said.

The Hagelversicherung said that in the north and west of the country, up to 85 percent less rain was seen between March and August, compared to the average over the past 10 years.

The impact on crops that are harvested in the coming Autumn months, such as corn, soy, and sugar beets, is still to be fully determined.

Kurt Weinberger, head of the Hagelversicherung, called the result a "catastrophe", noting that it marks the fourth time in the past six years that drought-related damage has been a significant issue for the domestic agricultural industry.

He said not only are farmers themselves impacted, but the country itself is turning from a net grain exporter to being dependent on imports from other countries, currently only being able to cover 80 percent of its own domestic need.

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