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Argentina - Rains could affect the quality of pears and apples

According to the first private reports of the apple and pear harvest in the region of the Valley of Rio Negro and Neuquen, there’s been a slight growth in the apple production when compared to the last season. In pears, the situation is not so clear.

Even though the first official data hasn’t been released yet, most of the producers and businessmen consulted have stated that their production has increased by around 10% and in some cases up to 20%. Taking this data into account, the pear and apple harvest for the 2018/2019 season should yield around 1.1 million fruits.

While there were no major frost damage in most of the productive valley so far this spring, there were two hailstorms that affected crops in Roca and Villa Regina.

This season’s problem is not the volume but the quality of the fruit. The large number of rainy days there’s been in the region has a direct impact on the activity, as the orchards must be treated with agrochemicals to prevent fungal diseases. In many areas of the Valley producers have already made three applications, but as wet weather continues, they might have to continue with this type of treatment in the coming weeks. Each application costs around 100 dollars per hectare. That is to say that a producer with 25 hectares in production, has already invested more than 250,000 pesos to date. A cost that, no doubt, was not contemplated by producers at the end of the winter, when they forecast how many applications they’ll need in the season.

It’s not the best scenario, taking into account the large amount of abandoned land and the higher probabilities of pest propagation, as the Valley is expected to be very hot and have a high humidity n the coming days.

According to official sources, the fruit sector will have a more accurate forecast or the 2018/2019 harvest before the end of the year, as this is key to programming the season.

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