Cherry production to drop by 50% this year due to adverse weather conditions

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The cherry orchards are registering this year a 50% drop in productivity due to adverse weather conditions, while the rice and potato areas will increase by 5% and 4%, respectively, and the peach will maintain normal production values.

According to the “Agricultural Forecasts” as of May 31 from the National Statistics Institute (INE), the sowing of irrigated grain corn “has been running smoothly and is practically complete, and the area should be similar to that in 2022,” and the contracted area of tomatoes for industry increased 7% compared to 2022.

According to INE, the cherry orchards “registered very significant productivity losses, around 50%”, due to “adverse weather conditions”, namely “the lack of timely cold weather, wide temperature ranges in the flowering/pollination phase, which affected the setting of the fruit and, subsequently, continued high temperatures, which accelerated fruit ripening, especially of early varieties, in some cases without reaching the normal size.

In turn, the rain of the last days of May, in some areas with strong intensity, “affected the production of varieties in the pre-maturation and maturation phase, […] observing the splitting/cracking of a high percentage of fruit, with consequences on the shelf life.

Given this scenario, notes INE, some producers chose not to harvest the production of these orchards at all.

On the contrary, the adverse weather conditions, especially the high temperatures, did not affect the peach orchards, which show “a normal vegetative development for the season”, pointing the forecasts to “a productivity close to the normal values”.

Already completed, the planting of tomatoes for the industry took place “in good conditions and without delays”, and the area contracted between the processing industry and producer organizations and/or individual producers was 17.7 thousand hectares, which corresponds to an increase of 7% compared to the area contracted in 2022 and 16% compared to the area declared in the Single Application of 2022.

The planting of irrigated potatoes is also “normally” concluded, with a forecasted increase of 5%, while the area of non-irrigated potatoes is expected to decrease by 5% compared to 2022 and 31% compared to the average of the last five years, resulting in an overall increase of 4% compared to 2022.

As for the rice area, INE’s forecast is that the respective surface will increase 5%, essentially due to the conclusion of the works in the channels of the Sado Valley hydro-agricultural exploitation.

As for irrigated grain corn, INE says that sowing “has been occurring normally and is practically complete,” and no changes in area are expected compared to 2022.

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