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Europe's Scorching Summer Has Caused a Crisis for Dairy Farmers

  • Drought caused feed shortages, more culling, hurt milk yields
  • Risk of fertility problems may further impact dairy industry
Operations at a Diary Farm And Milk Processing Centre
Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

Ireland’s famous green pastures and cool climate are a perfect environment for grazing dairy cattle -- but not this year.

The sweltering summer turned lush fields brown and led to shortages of fodder for the country’s millions of cows. Months of drought and heat have also caused problems across the European Union, the top milk exporter. Farmers from Ireland to Germany have had to cull herds or stop milking months early.