This year's Spanish potato season is almost finished and will come to an end with a 15 to 20% lower yield than in 2017, reports the head of the FEPEX potato committee, Jose Ramón Aguado. In France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands there will also be 20% declines in the harvest and the total volume won't reach 20 million tons.
According to a study prepared by the technical services of this association, the first part of the financial year is yielding disastrous results for Valencian citrus producers, who already accumulate more than 163 million Euro in losses so far. The losses caused by the latest rainy season amount to 91 million, while the fall in income as a consequence of the falling prices stands at around 52 million Euro.
Since last week, Spain has been going through a period of heavy rain events which are certainly taking a toll on the fruit and vegetable sector. Depending on the production area, the damage translates into production losses, impact on the crops' quality and delays in the shipments, both now and for future harvests.
Citrus producers are concerned about the threat of the "pixat" and about the risk of mandarin skins being affected by the excess water; a result of the latest rains. In fact, the harvest has been delayed due to the flooding of fields in the Region of Valencia. The Valencian Association of Agricultural Producers (AVA) has pointed out that the citrus varieties that are now at the optimum point of ripeness could suffer fungal problems due to the excess water.
The acreage devoted to greenhouse crops in Eastern Andalusia has reached 35,489 hectares, 1.7% more than in the year 2017, according to cartographical data of 2018. Almeria, Granada and Malaga together have seen the acreage grow by 579 hectares, and this figure has been increasing yearly since the first study carried out in 2001. Last year alone, the protected acreage grew by more than 10 percentage points.
Unbearable. This is how the situation suffered by pickers of the Plana Baixa is described. Municipalities in the region have been hit hard by a 'mosquito explosion' that has made it necessary to stop the orange harvest campaign in the most affected areas, as pickers are unable to work without getting bitten multiple times by the mosquitos.
Wild boars come at night and destroy everything in their way. In the case of the plantations on the border between Benicàssim and Castellón, in Spain, oranges are licked off until they are left dry. The wild boar pest is growing to ever-increasing proportions. The problem is no longer limited to rural areas; the animals are also increasingly found in urban areas.
Because of the heavy rainfall recorded in Castellon last Thursday, many areas on the coast have been flooded. Consequently, agricultural activities have almost ground to a halt. So far, however, no significant damage to crops has been recorded. The agricultural infrastructure has received the most damage. There are many inaccessible roads, which means there's no way to reach the plots, with the result that the daily tasks cannot be carried out and no harvesting work can take place.
This year's stone fruit campaign is about to end and the agricultural unions fear that the initial forecasts seem too optimistic. Storms and the closure of international markets continue to weigh on a sector that is likely to suffer a 20% decline in the production volume that had been initially expected. To make matters worse, the price increase that should have been recorded, given this shortage, has not arrived, so the crisis continues.
The frosts of late November last year, as well as the frosts and hail storms recorded in spring and summer this year, have entailed a reduction in Valencia's estimated kaki production. For now, the total volume this campaign is expected to fall by more than 30%. The consequences of these weather adversities could also have a negative impact on market prices, despite the reduction of the volume available.
The pepper campaign and the vegetable production in general are not expected to be great in Fresno de la Vega. The hail that fell in late June caused a lot of destruction in many plots, and although many plants have apparently recovered, "the losses will easily reach 70%," said the mayor, Antonio Lozano. On 29 June, a severe storm hit the south of the province, with Fresno de la Vega being one of the most affected municipalities.
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