The past weekend was characterized by hail and strong winds in various parts of Italy. As meteorologist Maycol Checchinato reports, "when temperatures remain high for a few days, the arrival of cool air generates instability, storms and whirlwinds." "Cherries and apricots have been heavily damaged by hail on July 3rd.
"The drupaceous fruit campaign in the areas of central Sicily is not encouraging," said Dario Brucculeri, an agricultural entrepreneur from Castrofilippo (AG), who also added: “While the peaches, due to the weather conditions, suffered from fruit set problems, there are no better results for the cherries, either in terms of production quality, or in terms of trade. At least not for our company."
Tridge, a global sourcing platform and market intelligence hub for food buyers and suppliers, have reported that the Spanish nectarines and Italian apricots are experiencing difficulties as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The harvest season for Spanish nectarines and peaches has started in the regions of Murcia, Catalonia, and Aragon, and is expected to finish late May.
The new harvest of Italian onions is due in the coming weeks. Due to weather problems and the coronavirus it promises to be an interesting season. "Workers, mainly from Poland and Romania, do not want to go to Italy. Less so even than to Germany. They are very scared because of the virus," said a German trader.
"Due to the return of cold weather in the last ten days of March and in early April, an average reduction of about 35-40% on the entire Apulian production is expected for the 2020 cherry campaign. With damage of up to 70% the early Bigarreau variety was the most affected, especially where efforts were made to get the plant to bear fruit early.
The fight against Drosophila suzukii in the hills between Verona and Vicenza has begun. The antagonist insect Trichopria drosophilae was launched on a vast area of over 200 hectares. The Coronavirus crisis is not expected to have too much impact on the possibility of accessing the farms, but only in the end can we determine with precision how many of them have been defended by the presence of useful insects.
Just like for all other segments, the lemon trend is rather different than usual this year. However, in this case, there are factors that can be traced back to a series of variables that do not apply to other productions. To better understand this, we talked to Francesco Tarallo, a producer from Syracuse.
The wave of night frosts that are affecting much of Italy goes on. In the north, the situation has reached an unprecedented level, with 8 hours below zero on the night of April 2 and minimum peaks of -6 °C. Even the anti-frost systems are struggling, because protecting an orchard with 5 °C below zero is not easy.
Alessandro Morini, a producer with almost 40 hectares of apple orchards in the Verona province, explains that the damage appeared to be more limited right after the frost, however, 8 days later, the situation does not appear to be good. "Gala and Golden are the varieties most affected. Quantities and quality have dropped and costs are higher.
Frost caused serious damage. In some areas of the Bologna and Ravenna provinces and in the central plains in Emilia, temperatures almost reached -6°C. Apo Conerpo president Davide Vernocchi reports "considerable damage to stone fruit: almost the entire apricot production is compromised and peach, nectarine, plum and golden kiwi productions have been heavily damaged.
Severe night frosts are expected throughout Italy, but there are those who have been using anti-frost irrigation since 2003. This is the case of Stefano Rivalta, a farmer in the province of Ravenna. And he is very satisfied with the active protection implemented. "I have 23 hectares of peach orchard, with underground drainage and all protected by the anti-frost irrigation below the foliage.
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