>> One of the worst droughts in recent decades is devastating Southern European crops. I'm Reuters reporter Ayla Benny in Rome. In Italy, around 30% less rain has fallen this year compared with last year. Grains have been particularly badly hit by the lack of water and the intense heat.
And the harvest in Italy, and parts of Spain is set this year to hit its lowest in more than 20 years. Some farms in both countries have decided not to even harvest their grain fields because the overall results would be so low it wouldn't be worth the money.
The major Spanish agricultural region of Castile and Leon, expects to see the overall crop harvest down about 60% or 70% this year. In Italy, the livestock farmers who usually grow their own plants to make feed for their cows haven't got those plants to make the food, so are having to buy food in for the animals, raising their costs by around 30%.
Livestock farmers have also started to pay attention to the comfort of the animals in the extreme heat, installing fans and cow sheds, and checking on how exactly the animals are being fed to make sure that they're as comfortable as possible. Some olive producers in Italy have had to water their olive tress for the first time.
The international olive council expects Italy's production of olive oil to full 60% this year. Low production would be expected to drive prices up. But producers are also concerned that they may drive their consumers away if they raise the prices too much. Italian agricultural group Coldiretti has estimated that already this year the damage to farmers from the effects of the prolonged drought and the intense heat has been worth more than 1 billion euros.