The South African Weather Service has issued a heatwave warning over the interior of South Africa. It is the first heatwave of the summer; extreme temperatures are expected to abate from tomorrow. In the far north of South Africa, north of the Soutpansberg Mountains, watermelons have suffered sunburn since the weekend.
The main watermelon harvest in Hungary is expected to come at the end of this week and early next week. The fruit will be arriving in the shops at the beginning of July. This year’s harvest is later than usual, and producers are expecting to see less fruit. Nights were cooler at the time of early flowering, which will result in a poorer yield.
Watermelon, one of the summer fruits par excellence and traditionally popular in the Region of Valencia, is losing ground, and this gradual decline is only becoming more and more accentuated. In the last five years, the acreage dedicated to this herbaceous plant in the Region of Valencia recorded a severe drop of almost 38%, going from 2.312 hectares in 2014 to only 1.347 in 2018.
Almost 35% of the muskmelon and watermelon crops, grown on over 4,000 ha in Kapurthala and Jalandhar, have been damaged due to rains and hailstorms this season. Farmers in the area are looking at even bigger losses as unfavourable weather earlier this month has reduced the sweetness of melons. Untimely rain causes melons to swell, making them tasteless, say experts.
Cold weather hit Florida once again last week, with temperatures as low as 36°F in some parts. Freeze warnings were also issued in some counties. Overall, the cold weather brought some light freeze damage to some crops. Some of this will be recoverable, but might delay the start of the season for crops such as watermelons and potatoes, particularly in the north of the state.
The weather strongly affected the Sicilian tomato production. There have been serious virus problems right from the start (September 2016), so plants had to be uprooted and replanted in many of the companies in the south-west of the island. Then, in January 2017, frost compromised production once again causing mould problems. Just a few weeks later, many areas were flooded. All these problems reduced quantities available, leading to high prices.
Producers of watermelons and onions in Rio Grande and Cerro Zuela in Penonome, said they had suffered losses of more than 90 thousand dollars after the Penonome river overflowed and flooded their crops. The watermelon category had the biggest losses in nearly 15 hectares for export, while some three hectares of onions were affected. Producers have asked the Government for support.
The Association of Fruit and Vegetable Producer Organizations of Almeria (Coexphal) has reported that the cold, in addition to slowing down the long cycle vegetable campaign, will also be taking a toll on spring crops like melons and watermelons, "of which there could be a very small early production." This organization, made up of 83 firms that account for 70% of Almeria's exports and 65% of the province's fruit and vegetable production, has estimated a 20% decline in the production of greenhouse vegetables as a result of the cold temperatures recorded in January.
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