Hail storms in the Rhône area in France have caused significant damage to apricots. This is according to Theo Kampschoer of Kampexport. "We had a lot of bad weather about ten days ago. I heard of a walnut farmer in the area who had thousands of his trees blown over. They were thick, 40-year-old trees," Theo says.
A Beaudesert farmer has found six cows lying dead, all in a straight line, after thunderstorms in south-east Queensland. Derek Shirley said there was not a mark on any of them. "There was just a storm, it was a pretty severe storm, there were a few cracks of lightning and thunder and then there was one particularly loud one and that's all we heard," he said.
An extraordinary destruction of forests as a result of devastating storms on August 12 in Chojnicki, Poland. According to current estimates, 7 million cubic meters of trees were damaged or felled by hurricane wind gust. Hundreds of thousands of hectares of forest have been destroyed. It's an unprecedented scale of destruction. In 2002 2.5 million cubic meters of trees were destroyed in the forest area of Puszcza Piska.
Every year, the worldwide wine industry suffers losses of more than $10 billion due to extreme weather events and natural disasters such as frost, hail, drought and forest fires. Scientists investigated the extent to which 7,500 wine regions in 131 countries are affected by these events and how climate change affects the wine industry. They've release a global risk index map for wine regions, and found that the wine regions of Mendoza and San Juan in Argentina are exposed to the highest risks worldwide.
Not a very happy Easter for the fresh produce sector. After months of drought and temperatures above the seasonal average, a heavy storm damaged a wide area between the Veneto and the Marche regions. Damage has been reported from Chioggia to Pesaro passing through Bologna, Ravenna and Cesena. Hail and wind but, most of all, heavy rain, damaged both fruit (mainly apricots and strawberries) and vegetables such as radicchio, spinach and onions.
There have been at least four serious fires started by headers in Victoria this year, with increased harvesting of legumes such as lentils and chick peas, which are more flammable than cereal crops. In NSW, fire authorities have reported an increase in fire damage from header fires, including a fire at West Wyalong, which burnt 7000ha and caused $500,000 in crop losses. Only two weeks into harvest in the Great Southern, Western Australia, the Wagin shire has experienced six fires, four of which were started through a header.
Outside Tzaneen in South Africa’s Limpopo Province, a severe wind storm swept through banana and avocado orchards late in the afternoon on Wednesday 25 January, laying waste to large parts of banana orchards and snapping tall eucalyptus trees. Wind speeds reached 37 knots (69km/h). Trees that had escaped the wind, were then pounded by a hail storm.
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