Italy - Sicily affected by frost

09.01.2019 284 views
Sicily has to deal with the damage caused by the snow and frost that have affected the entire regional territory during a particularly troublesome year. Artichoke field near Vittoria (RG). Snow and frost have incredibly reached sea level on the night between 4th and 5th January and temperatures dropped to -5°C in southern Sicily. After the recent flood, which caused over €400 million worth of damage, the region now has to deal with snow and frost. It is still too soon to assess the damage, however. The provincial authorities have already been alerted to guarantee and safeguard the interest of Sicilian producers. Damage is being assessed to verify the areas hit and the extent in terms of gross saleable production in order to be able to declare the state of natural disaster. "In just one night, entire productions were destroyed by the cold temperatures. Not even greenhouses with traditional plastic film covers can protect plants against -5°C," explained the Comitato Anticrisi Agricoltura Sicilia. Polytunnel and open field crops were also affected. Open-field artichokes crops were destroyed, and the situation of zucchini and tomatoes is not much better, especially since greenhouses have no heating or anti-frost system. "As if price crises and viruses weren't enough, this looks like a death sentence for producers affected," added the Committee presided by Angelo Giacchi, Salvatore Di Bona and Giuseppe Zisa. Source -

Spain - Avocado dieback is an increasingly worrying disease for subtropical producers

Dieback is becoming an increasingly important problem for avocado producers in Spain. This phytopathology of fungal origin, whose symptoms first become visible at the ends of the branches, with the progressive death of the tissues from the most distal to the base, has always existed and until now it was not considered greatly important, explains Eva Arrebola, researcher of the University of Malaga; but since 3-4 years ago, it has gradually been raising greater and greater concerns.


UK - Lower yields are already predicted, a reduction of 20-25%

The prolonged dry weather is taking its toll on crops across the UK, and onions are no different. Growers are predicting lower yields for the coming season and some harvests have had to be delayed because the ground is too hard.


Spain - Lorca almonds at serious risk due to lack of water

Almond production in the Lorca districts of La Paca, Zarcilla de Ramos and Las Terreras is under serious threat this year due to a lack of water to irrigate the crop. According to the president of the Campo Alto Irrigation Community, Juan Garcia Corbalan, if there is no relief soon, the almond will fail to mature, costing more than 320 producers their entire annual harvest.


USA - Drones target fruit tree pests in Hawaiʻi

The coconut rhinoceros beetle is a major invasive pest that feeds on coconut palms, betelnut, Pandanus palms, banana, pineapple and sugarcane. In Hawaiʻi, with no natural enemies to this beetle, the damage to crops can be significant.


Belgium - Impact of climate change on pear cultivation

In recent weeks, the high temperatures recorded have given researchers at the Flemish Center for the Conservation of Horticultural Products (VCBT) and Pcfruit, a Belgian fruit research center, great opportunities to measure the effects of climate change on pear cultivation, reports the Netherlands Fruit Growers' Organization (NFO).


USA - Hailstorm causes significant crop damage in some parts of Eastern Washington

A Thursday evening storm that brought golf-ball-sized hail, heavy rains and whipping winds to parts of Eastern Washington caused significant crop damage. “We had some fields that look like they’re probably a complete loss,” Fairfield farmer Marci Green said.


UK - Farmers warn of crop failure in biggest drought in 20 years

The biggest drought in 20 years has been declared across the majority of England, as farmers said half their crops could fail, households were warned of taps running dry and supermarkets faced water shortages.


USA - Rockford farmer sees severe crop damage due to hail storm

Last week, the city of Liberty Lake saw golf ball-sized hail through the region. This unusual hail storm left severe damage to homes and properties. Located around 15 miles outside of Spokane Valley, the hail storm caused significant crop damage for wheat farmers. It’s causing a delay to their normal harvesting schedule.