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Spain - Mycosphaerella fungus hits kaki growers in Region of Valencia

It was recently announced that this year’s Spanish kaki harvest will be significantly reduced compared to last year (by around 30%), both due to the lower yields and the impact of pests.

However, in recent days, Valencian producers have been surprised by the abundant presence of the Mycosphaerella fungus, which is causing a huge amount of fruit to fall from the trees. Therefore, the drop in this season’s kaki production could actually be much greater.

“Our producers have the fields full of fruit on the ground. It wasn’t expected that this disease caused by the Mycosphaerella fungus, would have such an impact,” says Kiko Torres, partner of the marketing company Exquisite Fruits, based in Gandia, in the Spanish province of Valencia. “We need to find out why the presence of this fungus has increased so much, although it could be due to the high moisture levels recorded this spring in the fields,” he says.

“Some plantations have lost 90% of the harvest in just 4 days. This has forced us to quickly reorganize the programs with our clients. Fortunately, we will be able to supply the agreed volumes, but many operators will see their production significantly affected.”

The Valencian company will start harvesting kakis in small quantities this weekend. According to the exporter, this situation will surely result in kakis becoming more expensive this season. “Those growers who have lost their production or have suffered significant losses will have a very difficult time,” he says. “However, prices are expected to be higher this season due to the significant drop in the supply and the higher production costs due to the COVID-19 crisis.”

“The impact of pests on this year’s kaki production is very worrying. Producers have very few products authorized to treat this crop, while the presence of diseases and pests continues to grow,” says Kiko Torres.

Source – https://www.freshplaza.com