rainfall netherlands crop
Heavy rainfall during the past month caused much damage to crops in the Netherlands.
Preliminary data show that from May 1st until May 26th, more than 100 mm (4 in) rain fell in most of the Netherlands. Some areas, such as the Dutch provinces of Limburg and Brabant, received more than 200 mm (8 in) rain.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Organization Netherlands (LTO), a Dutch entrepreneurs' and employers' organization for farmers and horticulturists, reported that farmers and horticulturists throughout the country are experiencing problems due to the heavy rainfall and hail in the past month.

During this season, around 700 farmers have reported damage due to rain and hail to insurance company Vereinigte Hagel. Damaged vegetable crops include onion and beet crops, with flower bulbs also hit.

Several Dutch farmers have posted pictures and videos of their damaged crops on social media. One Dutch farmer tweets: "Onions before and after the flood. From beautifully crumbly soil to compacted soil."

Another farmer tweets "Happy with the rain, but the hail wasn't necessary."

Another farmer wrote on Twitter/X: "There's been much footage from many regions of flooding and the damage it's caused to crops. Sad to see. Unfortunately, it's now our turn after a heavy downpour with high winds last night in [the Dutch town of] Zwanenburg. Hoping that the damage won't be too bad."

Tineke de Vries, the departmental chairman of LTO, called the problems "extremely worrying" as damages lead to lower yields. She added:
"Many farmers and horticulturists have not yet completed their usual spring operations. The crops that have been planted are often flooded or damaged by heavy rainfall."
Aggravating these problems are the measures implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality such as "calendar farming". Calendar farming requires farmers to harvest their main crop before October 1st and exchange it for crops that limit the leaching of nitrogen into the ground and surface water. However, farmers argue that nature is obviously not guided by the calendar as weather conditions can be unpredictable. This can lead to farmers having to dig up potatoes by October 1st while they're not yet fully grown due to heavy rainfall and/or hail.

As LTO said:
"If a farmer or horticulturist is hit by extreme weather in the spring, he will be hit hard in the fall by the current policy."
LTO has therefore asked the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality to stop with its harmful measures.

netherlands flood crop
© Rob EngelaarFlooded crop of sugar beets belonging to farmer Sander Tacken in the Dutch city of Venray.
The poor harvests and low yields will also be noticeable for consumers. Bert Smit, researcher at Wageningen University, told Dutch daily newspaper Algemeen Dagblad that vegetables such as onions, carrots, and potatoes will become more expensive this autumn. On potatoes, Smit said the following which, according to him, also applies to other crops:
"Things are bad in the Netherlands, but also in Belgium, France and Germany. In Belgium, only 50 percent of the potatoes have been harvested. This will inevitably lead to shortages. First, there will be shortages of table potatoes, but ultimately there will also be a lack of, for example, potatoes meant for french fries. They're currently in cold stores, but we'll run out of them as well at some point."
The last year was the wettest year since measurements began and this year's April was the wettest April in 100 years in the Netherlands. This doesn't bode well for the future. The situation is dire and with measures such as "calendar farming" in place, the Dutch government is making matters worse, leading to less and more expensive food.