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France declares “agricultural disaster” as country deals with aftermaths of frosts 

France declares “agricultural disaster” as country deals with aftermaths of frosts 
Photo by rfi.fr // After visiting a farm in Ardèche, in south-eastern France, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced plans to remove caps on compensation for agricultural disasters.

The unseasonal frosts that struck France last week are expected to have the most severe impact on the country’s agriculture in recent memory. Crops in large parts of the country face costly damage, including Bordeaux, Burgundy, the  Rhône Valley and  Provence. Grapes, kiwifruit, apricots, and apples are among the crops most affected. The bitter frost struck suddenly after a bout  of warm  weather, which  worsened the  damage.

French agriculture minister Julien Denormandi said: “This is probably the  greatest agricultural catastrophe of the  beginning of the  21st  century. Several hundreds of thousands of hectares have  been impacted.

Daniel  Sauvaitre, president of the  National Apple Pear Association (ANPP), told AFP: “Peaches, nectarines and  apricots will not be easy  to find on the  shelves this  year. The challenge is to know if there are  enough flowers left that are  still green to get  a harvest. And it’s only mid-April,  there could  still be frost  until  early  May.”

 

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Frosts wreak havoc on Lleida’s stone fruit

Frosts wreak havoc on Lleida’s stone fruit
Photo by Europa Press

The frosts of last week caused damage to the stone fruit orchards of Lleida (Cataluña) that are in advanced stages of flowering, such as apricots, plums and the earliest nectarines. The areas most affected by the frost are those closest to the River Segre, such as Seròs, Massalcoreig, Torres de Segre, Alcarràs, Torrelameu, Corbins and Benavent de Segrià, areas in which temperatures have dropped to -5º Celsius, following a period of higher than average temperatures for this time of year, according to a Unió de Pagesos press release. La Unió has called on Cataluña’s Ministry of Agriculture to conduct a careful assessment of the frost damage, which could reach as high as 80-100% in apricot production areas, according to Afrucat estimates.

 

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Italian crops lost to frost

Italian crops lost to frost

 

A cold snap in Italy has caused sweeping damage to the country’s agriculture in the past month, with asparagus, carrots, artichokes, fennel, turnips and beets all affected. Coldiretti is now fearful for the upcoming peaches, apricots, plums, pears, and apples, which are either in full bloom, budding or with small fruits ready to grow.

Lazio has paid a particularly high price, with kiwi, almond, peaches, apricots and hazelnuts all affected. In the area between Colonna and Velletri, there is still considerable damage to the post-fruit set of kiwis, with up to half of the yellow kiwi crop potentially lost. 

President of Coldiretti Lazio, David Granieri, said, “We lost 50% of the production of the yellow kiwi and have had damage to many almonds in Viterbo. In some areas we have experienced a production slowdown and the frost has also damaged the asparagus fields. In Maccarese there are significant damages to the cultivation of potatoes and in Sabina to peaches and apricots. Catastrophic weather events then hit the hazelnuts of Tuscia. It is a heavy blow now that Italians are searching for vitamins to help strengthen their immune systems against the virus. Household expenditure on fruit and vegetables has jumped by 16% in national supermarkets according to IRI data.”

Photo: FreshPlaza

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Cold snap hits vegetable, citrus and avocado crops of central Chile

cold chile

Early June frosts may have serious consequences for the crops of Chile’s central zone, particularly, citrus, which are in full harvest, and avocados, whose harvest begins in August. The damage appears to have affected buds and fruits and has even struck the northern Coquimbo area’s potatoes, squash, cucumbers and beans. Table grapes and stone fruits are expected to escape unharmed.

The cold weather did not bring any rains, and with the Maipo Valley’s reserves perilously low, next year’s harvest is already in jeopardy. Nevertheless, weather experts are forecasting some long overdue rain over the coming weeks.