Food: In Alsace, despite drought, corn cultivation is in full swing

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L'est de la France n'en a pas encore terminé avec la chaleur ce vendredi. 30 à 34 degrés sont attendus notamment en Alsace, une région durement touchée par la sécheresse. Pourtant, les cultures de maïs, une céréale très demandeuse en eau, continuent d'être abondamment arrosées. Europe 1 s'est rendue sur place. © Alain Jocard / AFP the East of France has not yet finished with heat this Friday. 30 to 34 degrees are expected in particular in Alsace, a region harshly affected by drought. However, corn crops, a very demanding cereal in water, continue to be abundantly watered. Europe 1 went there.

The heat wave gradually withdraws from the territory, but nine departments are still placed in orange vigilance, notably in Alsace where the mercury could climb up to 34 degrees. Like the whole of metropolitan France, these regions are hardly affected by the drought , which does not prevent farmers from watering their corn.

This Thursday, at noon, despite a blazing sun and 39 degrees in the shade, watering is full above the Fabien corn fields. "It's when it is dry that you irrigate, it's not when it rains," he said. Especially since the farmer has the right to water his corn, despite the vigilance drought : "I irigate from the water table for which there is no restriction of use", he specifies.

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"On the last month, we are close to the historic lowest"

This is the largest in Europe, the equivalent of a swimming pool 100 meters deep. A huge mass of water that does not seem threatened, confirms Fabien Toulet, researcher at the Alsace tablecloth observatory: "The impact of agricultural samples in a sector is a few tens of centimeters. 30 centimeters by 100 meters water is nothing. "

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but the samples still have consequences. "Above, we have the wetlands with the ground rivers and it is an environment which is quite fragile. And when we lower the level by one meter in summer, we dry up the rivers. There there , you see it, over the last month, each time, we are close to the historic lowest, "he shows.

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Some choose not to irrigate

This level is not taken into account, however, to trigger the drought crisis threshold which would force farmers to stop irrigation. Economic evidence for Fabien, the corn farmer: "It is a culture which is more profitable than non -irrigated crops. And therefore behind, there are charges and fertilizers to pay. There are fixed costs that it I have to cover whatever happens ".

A reasoning that all farmers do not share, like Paul who has chosen not to irrigate his fields: "My neighbor, with irrigation, I think that the yield will be 130 quintals and to On the side, excluding irrigation, perhaps 80. It is not negligible, but afterwards, it is necessary to amortize your irrigation, it is a choice ".

and with watering pumps operating in the diesel , Fabien concedes that, in a few days, also will stop irrigating his crops, because the increase in yield will not cover the increase in costs.

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