Israel has not escaped the heat wave scorching the Middle East in recent days, which has caused massive damage to the Israeli agricultural industry to the tune of millions of shekels.
Figures provided Monday by KANAT, the Insurance Fund for Natural Risks in Agriculture, indicate that in the last 24 hours alone, over 250 notifications of damage have been received from farmers. KANAT estimates that due to the nature of the damage, the scale of notifications will increase even more in the coming days.
KANAT's situation room has received 250 notifications of turkeys, chickens and other livestock dying from the heat wave, with most of the over 40 degree Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) heat damage recorded in the north of the country.
The company has also received numerous reports of damage to vegetable crops, primarily open-field crops such as watermelons and other melon varieties. Many hundreds of dunams of land have been affected by the heat damage, which has dried up and burned the growing melons.
Damage was also reported on fruit crops such as apples, nectarines, and others, mostly in the northern Upper Galilee region. KANAT noted that most summer fruits have already been harvested, meaning that larger damage was prevented.
Based on past experience and the nature of the damage, KANAT predicts the full scope of the damage will only come clear in a few days after reports on damage from the south on crops such as grapes, peppers, cabbage and eggplant come in, given that damage on those crops is not immediately discernible.