France - Late frost to wreak havoc on wine production

09.04.2021
Severe frosts across France this week have badly damaged buds and flowers in vineyards and fruit orchards and will cut grape harvests in some areas by as much as 90 per cent, according to growers and farmers’ organisations. “It was like winter coming in spring,” said Didier Delagrange, whose family has made wine from grapes grown on the slopes of Volnay in Burgundy for seven generations. “There was considerable damage, but we haven’t fully evaluated it yet,” he said. “The Chardonnay was more affected because the [shoots] were more advanced.” Around half of the vines in Burgundy have been damaged, according to local producers. In Chablis to the north, winegrower Thierry Mothe said the temperature had fallen as low as -7C, and 90-95 per cent of the potential crop would be lost. “There will be very little harvest in 2021,” he said. “It was like a winter frost, not a spring frost.” After a series of other problems, including US wine import tariffs linked to a trade war with the EU and the closure of many restaurants and bars around the world as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic — “there are some domains today that will be in very severe difficulties,” Mothe said. Even Bordeaux in south-western France was hit by the frosts, which also damaged the growth on fruit trees such as apricots, peaches and nectarines, and field-crops such as rapeseed and sugar beet. The impact was particularly severe because the freeze followed several days of warm weather that accelerated plant growth. Julien Denormandie, agriculture minister, said a state of agricultural calamity would be declared to mobilise financial support for farmers. “This is a completely exceptional situation,” he said on Franceinfo radio. “The losses are substantial.” The CNIV, which represents wine producers, called the disaster “one of the worst of recent decades”. Social media in France have been marked this week by eerie night-time pictures of smoky braziers illuminating vineyards across the country as growers sought to heat the air and limit the damage to their crops, but the method is expensive as well as being inadequate to counter a very severe frost. Delagrange said he would have needed 4,500 paraffin-fuelled heaters to cover all his 15 hectares at a cost of nearly €50,000 for the two worst nights, and growers could afford to protect only the vines for their finest wines. “In numerous regions, from north to south and east to west, the damage is severe for winegrowers and fruit farmers,” the National Federation of Farmers’ Unions said in a statement. “There is also great distress for arable farms. The impact on rape, just as it is flowering, is dramatic, as it is for sugar beet seedlings: many growers will have to replant more than half their crops.” Late frosts are not unprecedented, but many French farmers blame global warming for some of the erratic weather conditions they have endured in recent years, including droughts and floods. Shorter winters, higher summer temperatures and faster ripening is changing the character of French wine vintages, and grapes are now harvested up to three weeks earlier than they were only a few decades ago. Temperatures also dropped to below zero across the north of Italy, after weeks of sunshine and warm weather. Nebbiolo, Brunello and Moscato winemakers in Piedmont said between 50-80 per cent of their annual production had been destroyed by the frost. In Piedmont and further south, in Tuscany and Lazio (the region that contains Rome), apricot, peach and kiwi harvests have also been lost, according to local media reports. Source - https://www.ft.com
RISK EVENTS

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

02.07.2021

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

26.08.2021

India - Crop loss imminent as IMD rules out rainfall till August-end in Odisha

With the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday ruling out the possibility of any significant rainfall in the State till the end of August, drought seems to have become imminent. IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra told media persons that 27 districts of the State have received 33 per cent less than the normal rainfall from June to August and deficit rainfall in August was 55 per cent. 

26.08.2021

Germany - 2021 wheat crop to fall 3.6% after adverse weather

Germany's 2021 wheat crop of all types is expected to fall 3.6% on the year to 21.37 million tonnes after poor weather, according to estimates released by the agriculture ministry on Wednesday. Crops suffered from swings in weather, with a cold spring followed by a hot, dry start to the summer and then unwelcome harvest-time rain and storms, the ministry said in preliminary forecasts for the 2021 harvest. 

26.08.2021

Egypt - Weather has caused a reduction in the mango harvest

There’s still a few more months left in the Egyptian mango season, but the year has brought significant challenges. The weather resulted in 30% less production this year, and the heat could be a threat to other Egyptian produce as well. Demand has been solid, but the lower harvest has resulted in a price increase. 

26.08.2021

USA - Severe weather destroys thousands of acres of crop in Fairbank

Thousands of acres of corn and soybean in Fairbank were destroyed Tuesday night after severe storms rolled through eastern Iowa. A clearer picture of the scale of destruction was made clear on Wednesday. Adrienna Olson with the Buchanan County Farm Service Agency says only a few reports from Fairbank and Hazelton Township have been reported. They include corn and soybean damage. 

26.08.2021

USA - Heat bears down on California grapes

California grape growers continue to contend with heat and drought issues. “There is ample volume of red and green seedless. There will be some shortages though I imagine,” says Philippe Markarian of Fresno, CA-based Mirabella Farms. “We won’t see them at the moment but it will be on red and black seedless grapes. 

26.08.2021

India - Farmers in Erode urged to insure crops for Kharif season

The district administration has asked the farmers in the district to insure crops under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme) for Kharif season 2021 so that they can get relief for crop loss due to natural calamities, pest attack or disease outbreak in the current rabi season. 

24.08.2021

Online Agroinsurance Conference to be held on October 4-5, 2021

Due to the concerns around health safety of conference participants and in accordance with the guidance from the Georgian health authorities, AgroInsurance is forced to reschedule Conference to year 2022. More detailed information about new dates and arrangements will be provided in February 2022. Notwithstanding another reschedule of the Conference, AgroInsurance is committed to conduct the online webinar with 2 sessions on October 4-5, 2021. 

24.08.2021

Malaysia - Sarawak Disaster Management Committee to assist durian farmers

The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee is intent on working out a mechanism for durian farmers in areas under Covid-19 lockdown to bring out their fruits to the market. Its chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said he would discuss with the divisional health department to work out a suitable arrangement.