Mélina Facchin 06h21, March 29, 2022

There has been very little rain in recent months in Alsace, unheard of since the 1960s. Market gardeners are beginning to worry because without rainfall in the coming weeks and months, producing fruit and vegetables will become very complicated. 

While many appreciate this foretaste of spring, this great sun and these mild temperatures, for market gardeners, the current weather is worrying.

In Alsace, it has rained very little in recent months, and there has been very little snowfall this winter.

Result: fruit and vegetable producers fear a drought in the coming weeks and are waiting with hope for the return of the rain, normally in the next few days.

“I have never watered so much at this time of year”

On his four hectares of plots, Pascal Sala, market gardener in Colmar, in the Bas-Rhin, grows lettuces, cucumbers and zucchini.

And right now, he has no choice: he has to turn on his 50 automatic sprinklers every day.

"We have to: if we don't water today, everything is dead tomorrow," he sighs.

"I've been doing this job for 40 years and I've never watered so much at this time of year. It's really exceptional!" Adds this market gardener from father to son.

Mandatory repercussions on vegetable prices

Inevitably, this makes more work for his team and it costs him dearly.

"The pumps that allow watering run on fuel oil, so with the current price of fuel oil, it has largely doubled," explains Pascal Sala.

"All this is added to the cost of fertilizers which has almost tripled", he explains.

So, "necessarily", he will have to pass on these costs to the price of his fruits.

The water table in Alsace is high.

There is still water there, but it is less full than usual since there has been very little rain and snow in recent months.

So Pascal is waiting for the return of the rain, normally from this Wednesday, impatiently: "It would really relieve us! We are waiting to see", he concludes, skeptical.

Otherwise, the scenario he fears the most could happen: watering restrictions at the level of the Bas-Rhin department.