Original scientific paper

Farmers observations on the impact of excessive rain and flooding on agricultural land in Croatia

2022, 23 (1)   p. 125-137

Helena Senko, Lucia Pole, Armin Mešić, Dunja Šamec, Marko Petek, Ines Pohajda, Ivana Rajnović, Nikolina Udiković-Kolić, Lidija Brkljačić, Goran Palijan, Ines Petrić


Extreme events have produced more rain and became more frequent in many regions around the world, and these trends will rise with the warming of the planet. The vulnerable agricultural sectors, directly dependent on the climate, is predicted to be significantly affected by climate change, with an expected decline in future crop yields. We provide data on the effects of floods, because of excessive rain, on the agricultural sector in Croatia, with emphasis on its northern Pannonian region. Data collected for the period 2015-2020 are based on a 34-question survey, conducted among farmers previously reporting on climate-related damages to their crops. With almost 80% of farmers having experienced flooding on their field plots in the last 5 years (mostly short-term flooding, i.e. waterlogging of up to seven days), it is clear that this type of investigation needs further attention. Data suggested that floods most often occurred in the plant germination phase (before the 5th leaf) representing a risk for plant damage and consequent reduction in yields. A combination of mitigation and adaptation measures could minimize water retention in the fields and reduce damage, however, our survey implied that farmers scarcely use such measures. Knowledge gained in this study represents the first step toward understanding potential negative effects of the extreme events on the fragile agricultural sector in Croatia and could help authorities in decision making with the aim to reduce the degree of uncertainty associated with climate change effects.


extreme weather events, rain, flooding, agriculture, Croatia, crops

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