Polish govt debates aid to farmers hit by unusual heat, drought; crops, meat and milk down

Poland's government is debating forms of aid to farmers who have lost crops and fodder due to an unusual heat and drought in Central and Eastern Europe.

Authorities estimate tens of thousands of Polish farms involving at least 800,000 hectares (2 million acres) have lost large portions of their crops, meat and milk production. In mid-August, those losses were estimated at over 550 million zlotys (130 million euros, $150 million). Agricultural losses were also high in countries like the Czech Republic and Romania.

Unusually high temperatures of up to 38 degrees Celsius ( 100 degrees Fahrenheit) hit the region in July and persisted for weeks. That brought river and groundwater levels down and restricted navigation on Europe's second largest river, the Danube in Romania, and on Poland's main Vistula River.