Hit by drought, Italy’s agricultural heartland feels the heat

 Under the scorching sun of a mid-July morning, Giovanni Daghetta crossed a dry and dusty land in his rice fields in the province of Pavia, in Lombardy.   In a typical year, he wades through 10 cm of water among the lush, waist-high rice plants. But today, the few remaining trunks barely graze her ankles, as the ground was bare during the worst drought to hit the country in 70 years.   The problem is particularly acute in the Po Valley, where farmers like Daghetta depend on water  from the Po River basin - Italy's largest freshwater reservoir - to irrigate  crops and  livestock, produce exported to about 40% of countries. food.   After months without heavy rain, plus a lack of snow during the winter months and scorching summer temperatures,  Po has now fallen to  a century-low, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency. state of emergency in the northern regions of the year. areas and  enact restrictions, including the allocation of water.   The worst of the crisis i