Spain - Frost damages 100% of Lleida's mountain apple production

15.05.2024 75 views

The producers of mountain apples in the Pyrenees and Pre-Pyrenees of Lleida are facing the worst harvest in their history, caused by 10 days of intense frosts after an unusual early flowering. Josep Pintó, president of the Biolord cooperative, expressed his concern about this unprecedented phenomenon, which has caused a total loss of production this year. The cooperative, which brings together 12 members from various regions such as Pallars Sobirà, Alta Ribagorça, Solsonès, Berguedà, and Cerdanya, has never faced a situation like this in its ten years of commercial campaigns.

The high winter temperatures advanced the flowering of the trees, leaving the crops vulnerable to the May frost. This phenomenon isn't rare in the Pyrenees, but this year it was devastating due to its duration and severity. In addition to the frost, Pintó highlighted other challenges of mountain cultivation, such as strong winds, severe storms, frequent hail, and the impact of wildlife, which makes agriculture in these areas particularly arduous.

To combat frost, producers could implement a sprinkler irrigation system. However, this method requires a considerable flow of water, 40 liters per hectare and second, and has a high cost, which limits its viability for many producers.

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