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Risk events

Spain - 30% of La Palma's banana production has already been lost due to the advance of the lava

More than three weeks after the Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted, the lava that continues to flow from its interior continues to devastate everything in its path, destroying houses, infrastructure, and banana plantations. The production of Platanos de Canarias is the economic engine of the island, accounting for 50% of its GDP and 30% of the jobs on the island.


Europe - Around 66,000 ha damaged - 23 million euros in damages

While Vereinigte Hagelversicherung VVaG reported 30,000 hectares damaged just a few days ago, this figure has more than doubled within a few days. A good 66,000 hectares were registered for regulation from June 18 to 25. This is due to so-called supercells, which came from France through Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria to Austria and the Czech Republic, causing hailstorms over a length of several hundred kilometers. Local heavy rainfall with enormous amounts of rain from so-called "water bombs" and hailstones the size of tennis balls caused damage to almost all crops, often with total losses. On June 22 and again on June 24, the damage area stretched from Lake Starnberg via Munich to Passau. In Baden-Württemberg, the Neckar-Alb region was hardest hit on June 21 and, just two days later, the strip from Freiburg via Reutlingen to Esslingen. A locally intense area of damage extended along the North Sea coast in the Groningen-Norden-Aurich triangle on both the Dutch and German sides of the border. In addition, abroad, the polder areas on the IJsselmeer and the Baltic region were particularly affected. After the first surveys, Vereinigte Hagel now expects damage of about 20 to 23 million euros, a doubling compared to the beginning of last week. Supercells and what they are about - currently no end in sight The background to the now considerably higher damage figures are so-called supercells, which have a much higher damage potential than ordinary thunderstorms due to their rotation and longevity. "Their most important feature is the so-called "mesocyclone," a powerful rotating updraft. It creates a negative pressure on the ground so that, like a vacuum cleaner, warm and energetic air can be constantly sucked in at the ground and reach the upper edge of the troposphere (above 10 km altitude). There the warm air is sucked in and there is also the danger of possible tornadoes. Subsequently, in the area of the sinking cold air, it is not uncommon for extreme downbursts to reach the hurricane range. Over time, supercells develop a momentum of their own that prevents the sinking cold air (as compensation for the rising warm air) from entering the warm air area. Thus, the mesocyclone is fed with warm air for several hours. Due to the longevity and massive power of the rotating updraft, hailstones can be flung into the air several times, growing into large hailstones. From Monday through Thursday, conditions in southern Germany were ideal for these rotating monsters. A warm and humid air mass was stored in the lower atmosphere, so to speak the fuel for the engine of the rotating mesocyclones. In addition, the wind near the ground came from an easterly to northeasterly direction (which favored suction), veered nearly 180° to the southwest up to an altitude of about 5 kilometers, and increased significantly. In short, there was sufficient directional and velocity shear. This is a basic requirement for the formation of rotation in the updraft region and helps to prevent the sinking cold air from reaching the front of the thunderstorm cell." And it's set to continue. The DWD forecasts heavy thunderstorms in the south and southwest of Germany on Monday evening, as well as on Tuesday. Experts prepared for this, because in June or July such weather phenomena are not uncommon, as Vereinigte Hagel knows from almost 200 years of experience. Source - https://www.freshplaza.com


China - Farms suffered from hailstorms

Hailstorms suddenly arrived in east China on 4 April to 5 April. Production areas in Pingdu, Laizhou, and Laiyang in Shandong suffered heavy damage. The hailstones damaged cherry trees, pear trees, peach trees, and apple trees. The cherry and peach trees in particular are in the middle of the flowering season, while apples are ripening on the trees. Some of the flowers have already begun to open in some of the warmer production areas. The impact of these hailstorms was disastrous for the upcoming production volume of cherries and peaches. The overall production volume will be greatly reduced and some farmers may have lost their entire harvest. Source - https://www.freshplaza.com


Ukraine - Losses in stone fruit and berry crops due to low temperatures

The freezing temperatures recently recorded in Ukraine could lead to the loss of up to 80% of the stone fruit production and up to 50% of the berry crops, said Kateryna Zvereva, Director for Development of the Ukrainian Fruit and Vegetable Association (UPAA). “Apricot and other stone fruit crops (peaches, sweet cherries and even some plum varieties) bloomed earlier than usual due to the high temperatures in March. However, night frosts that were fatal to stone fruit crops were recorded in late March, and the vast majority of growers in Ukraine don't yet have modern frost protection systems. Moreover, the cold weather during the flowering prevented the bees from pollinating the gardens," she said in a statement to Interfax-Ukraine. As for berries, the UPOA this week received several messages from Ukrainian blueberry producers, concerned about the serious damage caused by the lower air temperatures at the end of last month. “Due to the abnormally warm winter and significantly high temperatures in March, blueberries in many regions of Ukraine had almost started to bloom; however, frosts struck earlier this week. The situation worsened because frosts returned again after a short warm period,” said Zvereva. According to UPAA research, Chandler blueberries were the most affected, with potential crop losses estimated at more than 50% in some regions. The Duke variety, which is one of the most popular among domestic growers, was also significantly affected. “Losses in stone fruits could reach 80% of the potential production; in berries, perhaps 50%,” said the director for development of the UPOA. Source - https://www.freshplaza.com


Italy - Heavy storms hit south-east Sicily

"There are no roads and we do not even know how to reach our land. Both the structures and crops have been damaged. The water is not draining, so things are bad," explains Enzo Denaro, from a production and commercialization company in Ispica, following the storms on 25th and 26th October."The strength of the water even dragged away the electricity pylons. Rivers and canals have not been cleaned, so the water could not flow properly - bills, including that from the land reclamation consortium, do come in punctually though. The neglected land is indeed a problem, though we must say the weather event that hit the area between Ispica (RG) and Rosolini (SR) was the strongest we have had in years.""I lost 30% of my production and believe at least a third of the local crops was damaged - carrots and artichokes in particular. The hail also damaged greenhouses and polytunnels."It will only be possible to assess the real damage over the next few days and weeks. A huge sinkhole occurred in Ispica and the roads and houses must be secured. What is more, the primary and secondary road network must also be reinstated and of course, logistics will be heavily affected.Above: Enzo Denaro in a zucchini polytunnel, archive photo. Plants did not have the time to produce as they should. "We are expecting water to drain so we can salvage what we can and carry out new transplants where possible so as to mitigate our losses. I hope none of the authorities come to visit, as they should take care of the territory throughout the year, not just show their faces for political advantage." Source -https://www.freshplaza.com


Floods and storms in Spain and southern France affected some crops

This week’s weather around the Mediterranean caused a lot of damage in the south of France; the French government has declared a state of natural disaster. In Béziers, 6 gallons per square feet fell in 24h. Other municipalities in France and in Spain were also severely affected. The episode inevitably has consequences for the fruit and vegetable sector. “We have not drawn up a report yet, but several crops have been affected in France and in Spain,” reports Charles Farran de Ritex, wholesaler based in Perpignan. “In France, it is the season of autumn and winter vegetables like artichokes and lettuce. For those products, water is not necessarily a bad thing, and we hope that there won’t be too much damage. The apple and pear orchards are probably also affected. Other products like the tomatoes are grown in greenhouses so they will not be directly impacted. However, several greenhouses have been destroyed by the storm in the region of Nîmes and Avignon.” In Spain, the Mediterranean episode also had some impact. “Grapes were severely affected by the water,” explains Charles, who imports a lot of his products from Spain. Nearly 108,000 square feet of greenhouses blown away As he was about to pick his lettuce, Eric Vidal saw a small tornado, on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, blow away 108,000 square feet of his farm located at the heart of the Jardins Saint Jacques. He reported to the newspaper L’Indépendant that “everything is ruined, both the facilities and all the lettuce of course, which is mostly produced for fast food restaurants. We were supposed to harvest in 10 days, it’s a dry loss. Luckily, I have insurance.” The cause of the damage is a devastating blast limited to one corridor. Other more minor damage has been reported in the same area. “When I arrived at the greenhouses, I understood right away that something had happened. The greenhouses in the back were completely crushed. It was like a bull ran through, destroying everything. The surprising thing is that the other facilities, right next to them, were not affected at all,” explains Eric. The farm had already suffered from a similar situation in January 2009 with storm Klaus. “After the expert’s report, we will have to disassemble, clean and rebuild everything. We won’t get any lettuce until next summer.” The farm is likely to lay off part of its staff temporarily. Source - https://www.freshplaza.com


USA - Thieves steal 7,000 pounds of apples from Spicer Orchards

Thousands of apples vanished from Spicer Orchard. It's a bizarre crime that's left the owners wondering who did it. Trees at a Fenton Township orchard should be filled with apples waiting to be harvested. Instead, they are bare. Sometime between late Sunday night and Wednesday morning, thieves stripped hundreds of trees of their bounty, leaving only a handful of fruit high up on the branches. "Basically, I was pretty upset about it, because it takes a whole year to grow apples," said Spicer Orchard Harvest Manager Matt Spicer. "And losing something like that, that was our up and coming varieties. Evercrisp is one of our new ones out and was kind of excited to share that with people." The crooks not only picked ripe apples, they took ones not ready for harvest and even ones on the ground. Spicer estimates about 7,000 pounds of fruit -- about 22,000 apples -- were loaded onto trucks and carted off. Nearby neighbors didn't hear a thing. "I don't look out my window this way and they didn't come down the driveway, so I wouldn't have heard anything," said next door neighbor Mike Conway. "It's behind the barn. I'm sure they used the barn for cover." While insurance can cover crop losses due to weather, it won't cover theft and the estimated $14,000 loss. However, this loss will have a ripple effect across the family run business. "Whomever took those apples, six families count on the income from this farm. And losing any of it, always, it will hurt somebody," Spicer said. Plans are to increase security measures to help prevent another incident in the future. "We already kind of planned on fencing it off, which would give us gates to close and things like that to hopefully help us out, and more cameras obviously," Spicer said. Anyone with information on the theft is asked to call the Genesee County Sheriff's Office. Source - https://www.abc12.com


Italy - Hailstorm destroys apple orchards in the province of Ferrara

A devastating out-of-season hailstorm hit the province of Ferrara, destroying apple crops and damaging plants, with impacts that will be still be felt next year. The event occurred on October 3, 2019. "A heavy hailstorm hit Consandolo Argenta and Gualdo," technician Alessandro Passerini explained, "with damages to apple orchards in harvest time that had no protective nets. And that's not all: I've heard of an anti-hail system in Consandolo that collapsed under the weight of the ice, with great damages to Pink Lady apples". The hailstones were as big as a walnut, followed by gusts of wind and floods. "According to Confagricoltura, the heavy out-of-season hailstorm hit the strip of land that goes from Cona to Gaibana, crossing Voghiera. The pear orchards were affected too, causing injury to young buds. It's unusual to expect a hailstorm at this time of year. Coldiretti Ferrara also spoke about the event: "This year the territory of Ferrara recorded parasite attacks, such as the Asian bug, and fungus attacks such as the Alternaria, to name just a few episodes that knocked down especially the fruit cultivation. The violent downpour and the large-diameter hailstones did nothing but worsen the situation for other fruit orchards, including Golden and Fuji apples". Source - https://www.freshplaza.com


Italy - Severe hail damaged apples in Voghiera (photos)

On the night of October 3rd severe hail damaged apple harvest in Voghiera in the Province of Ferraraand neighborhood areas.Source -Patfrut SCA


Canada - Over 300 hail damage claims expected from last week’s severe storm near Ituna

Hail storm activity in Saskatchewan for the first half of September is described as moderate with minor to heavy crop damage. The president of the Canadian Crop Hail Association, Rick Omelchenko, says there were over 530 prairie hail claims in the first two weeks of this month, with about two-thirds from Saskatchewan. He says the biggest storm in this province centred on Ituna, northeast of Regina, last Wednesday. Omelchenko says the storm also affected the communities of Lipton, Leross, Yorkton, Kamsack and Pelly. Omelchenko says marble size hail caused total loss in some fields, particularly around Ituna, 135 kilometers northeast of Regina. He estimates there will be over 300 claims in east central Saskatchewan from last weeks storm. Source - https://www.620ckrm.com


Spain - Almost 9,000 tuna escaped from San Pedro del Pinatar fish farm during the storm

1,300 dead tuna weighing 100 kilos each have been recovered from the sea and the beaches. This means that many have yet to be located. Among the businesses to have suffered most economic harm during the destructive “gota fría” storm of 12 to 14th September are many crop farmers whose land disappeared under floodwater, but arguably even more severe damage was done to the tuna fish farm belonging to Grupo Ricardo Fuentes 4.5 kilometres off the coast of San Pedro del Pinatar and Pilar de la Horadada. During the storm eight of the large cage enclosures in which tuna were being fattened broke open, allowing almost 9,500 bluefin tuna, each weighing over 100 kilos, a chance to escape into the open sea. Unfortunately many of the fish failed to survive and almost immediately dead tuna started to wash up on the beaches of La Manga, while carcasses have also been recovered all along the eastern Costa Cálida (Águilas) and in the southern Costa Blanca, (Orihuela and Torrevieja amongst them) both from the coastline and from the water. It is reported that the total weight of the 1,300 dead tuna recovered so far comes to 176,331 kilos, and the scale of the incident suggests that those figures could both rise substantially over the next few days. Only 800 of the tuna remained in their cages, leaving another 7,300 unaccounted for according to the latest figures. Sources at Ricardo Fuentes e Hijos are quoted in regional newspaper La Verdad as reporting that a marine tornado off the coast of Pilar de la Horadada was responsible for a series of “adverse atmospheric and oceanographic phenomena”, which in turn caused the vast cages to tip over on their axes, twisting the metal framework and ripping nets open. As for the reason for so many of the escaped tuna having died, it is believed that the stress of the incident may be responsible as the cardio-respiratory system of the bluefin tuna is particularly sensitive. As for the losses sustained by Ricardo Fuentes e Hijos it is too early as yet to assess the full damage, but the figure is expected to rise into tens of millions of euros. Bluefin tuna is an especially sought-after species in the Japanese market, and prices are high due to fishing quotas having been in place for over a decade worldwide. Source - https://murciatoday.com


USA - Thousands of pumpkins stolen from south Arkansas field[:ru]USA

A fifth-generation farm family suffered a “complete, total loss” after thousands of pumpkins were stolen from their south Arkansas fields. The theft happened between Monday and Thursday last week at Hamilton Farms, in Bradley County, according to Steele Hamilton, a member of the family that operates the farm. Hamilton estimates there were between 2,000 to 4,000 pumpkins spread across an 8-acre field. Now, only about 300 pumpkins remain, he said. Hamilton said his father first discovered the loss when pickers came to get the pumpkins on Thursday and reported them missing. The family had tried and failed to grow pumpkins for two years before this year’s successful crop, Hamilton said. “You get excited you finally achieved something that you worked hard for, especially three years of that and somebody takes it from you,” he said. “You don’t just break even. You just completely lose.” At a retail price of $4 per pumpkin, Hamilton estimates the theft cost the farm between $8,000 and $16,000. The thieves likely drove in with no lights under the full moon with a group of pickers, the farmer said, adding that a mudhole in the road would have prevented them from using trailers or large vehicles. Hamilton said he doesn’t have any guesses as to how many truckloads the thieves would have taken out, though he said his father has loaded 150 pumpkins in a truck at one time. At that rate, thieves using trucks would have had to haul over a dozen truckloads. The people who took the pumpkins probably sold them to a warehouse, the farmer said. At this point, Hamilton said his family doesn’t have any hope of recovering the stolen crops. He said he notified Bradley County Judge Klay McKinney but didn’t talk to law enforcement because it would be difficult to tie any crops found back to the farm. “What’re you going to tell them?” he said. Hamilton said the family intends to take measures to better protect their crops but declined to go into specifics. Source - https://www.arkansasonline.com