Serbia - Spring frost strikes blueberry plantations

27.05.2024 82 views

Spring frost has again struck the Serbian berry industry, leading to significant damages of up to 40% in many plantations. According to Sladjana Vuković, CEO of the Serbian exporting company Srbovoće: "We had frost in April. Some fields lost everything, some a little bit, while some were not affected at all. Estimations on a country level are between 15% to 40% less berries than expected due to the frost damage."

Now the situation has turned so rapidly from frost to much warmer weather during spring, it is now going to speed up the blueberry harvesting season to an earlier period. "It was unusually warm, which means our season is going to start earlier, by two to three weeks this year," states Vuković.

The damaging frost comes just as Serbian producers like Vuković were seeing signs of a good harvest developing. Now many of their hopes are shattered. "If we didn't have frost, yes, we would have more volume this year than last year, but it is going to be less."

Last year, late spring rain and cooler weather across Serbia made the blueberry harvesting more complicated. Srbovoće, is her exporting company that has a combined 120 hectares from supplying producers. Some have newly planted, while others have plantings that are somewhere in-between, with more blueberries coming into full production each year. Their suppliers' farms are situated around the Belgrade area and central Serbia, with a smaller amount in the west and south-east of the country.

Vuković is hoping to export more to the UK and the rest of Europe, where demand is growing for Serbian berries. They will also send to neighbouring countries like Hungary and Croatia. "Now with the frost impact our exports to Europe are going to be very similar to the previous year, in my opinion," she concludes.

Source - https://www.freshplaza.com

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