USA - Harvest season confirming extent of freeze damage to peach crop

03.08.2020
When a deep freeze struck local peach orchards this April, growers could only guess how bad the damage might be.
Now that harvest season is under way, it’s become clear that their generally pessimistic early outlook was well-warranted.
“I don’t know of any producer that wasn’t affected severely,” said Corey Hicks, county executive director for the federal Farm Services Agency Mesa County office.
He said the exact extent of the loss probably won’t be known until this fall, and estimates of the levels of damage to individual growers are all over the place. He said there may be a few more, but not many more, peaches to be picked than was feared in April would be the case, and some growers reportedly are producing upwards of 50% of their normal crop.
But even losing half a crop is a lot, he said. And some growers “lost a lot to almost everything,” he said.
“This freeze was massive. It was severe,” he said.
Richard Skaer, whose roughly 20-acre growing operation is on East Orchard Mesa, in a typically colder area than some others in the Palisade area, said he drove around and saw six peaches in his whole orchard.
“I lost 100% of everything — cherries, apricots, peaches. Thank goodness I had crop insurance,” he said.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in June declared Mesa and Delta counties and nearby counties a disaster area due to the freeze, providing growers potential access to emergency loans and other assistance.
BIG HIT FOR BIG GROWER
Impacts to specific orchards can vary based on numerous factors ranging from elevation to whether there are rocks in an area that absorb heat during the day and keep a field warmer at night. But Bruce Talbott at Talbott Farms, a major local grower, believes Talbott Farms’ experience is representative of the valley’s as a whole because it has orchards in a number of different locations, and he thinks the company’s crop will be about 15 to 20% of normal.
He said its packing operation, which packs mostly Talbott Farms’ peaches but also some from other growers, will likely pack about a million pounds of peaches this year, compared to 7 million to 8 million in a normal year. By comparison, he said that last September, in just one week, due to a market anomaly Talbott Farms had to dump almost as many peaches as it’s going to produce this year.
“And they were great peaches. There was just no home for them,” he said.
Talbott Farms usually starts up its packing shed before mid-July but Talbott said it probably won’t get going until this week. He said this is a year when companies such as Kroger, Safeway and Walmart will be looking elsewhere for peaches because the Palisade area won’t be providing a reliable supply.
Talbott Farms’ goal is to try to preserve access to retail markets in future years, and the company is shipping some peaches to places such as Denver, Iowa and Minnesota.
“They’re teasers saying, ‘remember us. Someday we’ll have fruit but not this year, but don’t forget us,’” Talbott said.
BRISK BUSINESS FOR STANDS
Oddly, this year’s freeze actually can have some upsides for some local growers. James Sanders estimates that his farm’s 75 acres probably lost about 60% of its normal peach crop to the freeze. He didn’t bother opening his you-pick orchard, which was decimated by the cold snap. But his Palisade Peach Shack retail fruit stand, just off Palisade’s Interstate 70 interchange, is having a banner year. With fruit not going to grocers in the volumes it does in a typical year, stands like Sanders’ are becoming a go-to source for peach lovers, with his location in particular letting him cater to demand from tourists passing on I-70.
“There’s not a lot (of peaches) out there so it promotes a lot of movement in the retail market,” Sanders said. “Our retail numbers are double what they were last year.”
He said that growth reflects more peaches being sold; Sanders didn’t raise prices from last year.
“I think that a peach is a peach and there’s a cap on what we could charge,” he said.
But the relative dearth of peaches available on the retail market means Sanders is able to sell more of the fruit he was able to grow on the retail rather than wholesale level. In a typical year he might be able to sell 20% of his crop retail; this year he expects it to be about 80%.
“Retailing what (peaches) we do have allows us to make more money off what we do have,” he said.

LOCALLY, ‘PLENTY OF PEACHES’

Sanders agrees with Talbott that Talbott Farms’ peach loss estimates probably reflect the overall local losses, but thinks 20% of normal is still “enough to supply the local farmers markets and the roadside stands.”
“Mesa County’s going to have plenty of peaches” said Sanders, who thinks the same goes for Denver.
“If I had to guess, the majority of fruit (from local peach growers) is going to stay right in Colorado,” he said. Source - https://www.gjsentinel.com
RISK EVENTS

Europe - Around 66,000 ha damaged - 23 million euros in damages

02.07.2021

While Vereinigte Hagelversicherung VVaG reported 30,000 hectares damaged just a few days ago, this figure has more than doubled within a few days. A good 66,000 hectares were registered for regulation from June 18 to 25. This is due to so-called supercells, which came from France through Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria to Austria and the Czech Republic, causing hailstorms over a length of several hundred kilometers. Local heavy rainfall with enormous amounts of rain from so-called "water bombs" and hailstones the size of tennis balls caused damage to almost all crops, often with total losses. On June 22 and again on June 24, the damage area stretched from Lake Starnberg via Munich to Passau. In Baden-Württemberg, the Neckar-Alb region was hardest hit on June 21 and, just two days later, the strip from Freiburg via Reutlingen to Esslingen. A locally intense area of damage extended along the North Sea coast in the Groningen-Norden-Aurich triangle on both the Dutch and German sides of the border. In addition, abroad, the polder areas on the IJsselmeer and the Baltic region were particularly affected. After the first surveys, Vereinigte Hagel now expects damage of about 20 to 23 million euros, a doubling compared to the beginning of last week. Supercells and what they are about - currently no end in sight The background to the now considerably higher damage figures are so-called supercells, which have a much higher damage potential than ordinary thunderstorms due to their rotation and longevity. "Their most important feature is the so-called "mesocyclone," a powerful rotating updraft. It creates a negative pressure on the ground so that, like a vacuum cleaner, warm and energetic air can be constantly sucked in at the ground and reach the upper edge of the troposphere (above 10 km altitude). There the warm air is sucked in and there is also the danger of possible tornadoes. Subsequently, in the area of the sinking cold air, it is not uncommon for extreme downbursts to reach the hurricane range. Over time, supercells develop a momentum of their own that prevents the sinking cold air (as compensation for the rising warm air) from entering the warm air area. Thus, the mesocyclone is fed with warm air for several hours. Due to the longevity and massive power of the rotating updraft, hailstones can be flung into the air several times, growing into large hailstones. From Monday through Thursday, conditions in southern Germany were ideal for these rotating monsters. A warm and humid air mass was stored in the lower atmosphere, so to speak the fuel for the engine of the rotating mesocyclones. In addition, the wind near the ground came from an easterly to northeasterly direction (which favored suction), veered nearly 180° to the southwest up to an altitude of about 5 kilometers, and increased significantly. In short, there was sufficient directional and velocity shear. This is a basic requirement for the formation of rotation in the updraft region and helps to prevent the sinking cold air from reaching the front of the thunderstorm cell." And it's set to continue. The DWD forecasts heavy thunderstorms in the south and southwest of Germany on Monday evening, as well as on Tuesday. Experts prepared for this, because in June or July such weather phenomena are not uncommon, as Vereinigte Hagel knows from almost 200 years of experience. Source - https://www.freshplaza.com

26.08.2021

India - Crop loss imminent as IMD rules out rainfall till August-end in Odisha

With the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday ruling out the possibility of any significant rainfall in the State till the end of August, drought seems to have become imminent. IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra told media persons that 27 districts of the State have received 33 per cent less than the normal rainfall from June to August and deficit rainfall in August was 55 per cent. 

26.08.2021

Germany - 2021 wheat crop to fall 3.6% after adverse weather

Germany's 2021 wheat crop of all types is expected to fall 3.6% on the year to 21.37 million tonnes after poor weather, according to estimates released by the agriculture ministry on Wednesday. Crops suffered from swings in weather, with a cold spring followed by a hot, dry start to the summer and then unwelcome harvest-time rain and storms, the ministry said in preliminary forecasts for the 2021 harvest. 

26.08.2021

Egypt - Weather has caused a reduction in the mango harvest

There’s still a few more months left in the Egyptian mango season, but the year has brought significant challenges. The weather resulted in 30% less production this year, and the heat could be a threat to other Egyptian produce as well. Demand has been solid, but the lower harvest has resulted in a price increase. 

26.08.2021

USA - Severe weather destroys thousands of acres of crop in Fairbank

Thousands of acres of corn and soybean in Fairbank were destroyed Tuesday night after severe storms rolled through eastern Iowa. A clearer picture of the scale of destruction was made clear on Wednesday. Adrienna Olson with the Buchanan County Farm Service Agency says only a few reports from Fairbank and Hazelton Township have been reported. They include corn and soybean damage. 

26.08.2021

USA - Heat bears down on California grapes

California grape growers continue to contend with heat and drought issues. “There is ample volume of red and green seedless. There will be some shortages though I imagine,” says Philippe Markarian of Fresno, CA-based Mirabella Farms. “We won’t see them at the moment but it will be on red and black seedless grapes. 

26.08.2021

India - Farmers in Erode urged to insure crops for Kharif season

The district administration has asked the farmers in the district to insure crops under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme) for Kharif season 2021 so that they can get relief for crop loss due to natural calamities, pest attack or disease outbreak in the current rabi season. 

24.08.2021

Online Agroinsurance Conference to be held on October 4-5, 2021

Due to the concerns around health safety of conference participants and in accordance with the guidance from the Georgian health authorities, AgroInsurance is forced to reschedule Conference to year 2022. More detailed information about new dates and arrangements will be provided in February 2022. Notwithstanding another reschedule of the Conference, AgroInsurance is committed to conduct the online webinar with 2 sessions on October 4-5, 2021. 

24.08.2021

Malaysia - Sarawak Disaster Management Committee to assist durian farmers

The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee is intent on working out a mechanism for durian farmers in areas under Covid-19 lockdown to bring out their fruits to the market. Its chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said he would discuss with the divisional health department to work out a suitable arrangement.