OI Pera has carried out a first assessment of the 2019 Italian pear campaign and has reported an unprecedented drop in production. The production deficit was already evident in early July estimates as the domestic production was calculated at 511,000 tons due to the bad weather and pollination problems.
This year's European apple production is expected to come to 10,556,000 tons. That is 20% less than last year. It is also 8% less than the average over the past three years. The European pear harvest is expected to be 2,047,000 tons. This is 14% lower than last year and 9% less than the previous three seasons average. These figures are according to the World Apple and Pear Association, WAPA's top fruit prognoses.
The latest storms recorded in Jumilla, Murcia, have mainly affected the production of pears. However, according to Pedro Garcia, president of COAG Jumilla, and Francisco Fernandez, technical director of the Jumilla Pear Denomination of Origin, the damage "has not been significant" and "in no case insurance will take care of the losses.
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.
According to Agreste, on the 1st July the 2016 pear harvest was estimated at 125,000 tons, 11% below that of 2015. Summer pears have been particularly effected by the cold weather at the end of spring; flowering and fruit setting for these varieties did not occur under the best conditions. The Guyot variety is expected to suffer the most from the spring weather in the Languedoc-Roussillon and PACA. The Guyot represents almost half of production in PACA.
Last night, Tuesday 26 January, it was announced that up to $2.69 million will be made available to Nova Scotia fruit tree growers to help them financially recover from an outbreak of fire blight in trees that followed post-tropical storm Arthur in 2014. The money will be dispersed over 5 years, with the federal government covering 60 per cent of the cost and the Nova Scotia government covering the rest. Fire blight is a disease that affects apple and pear trees; an estimated 95 per cent of orchards in Nova Scotia were affected in some way by the fire blight after the 2014 storm.
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