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Spain: Potato harvest could be 25% lower due to impact of frosts
While the lack of rainfall had already become a serious problem for many rainfed and irrigated crops in Castile-Leon, heavy frosts in recent days have had a particular impact on crops such as potatoes, fruit trees, beets and on vineyards.
Potatoes have actually has been one of the most affected by this climatic adversity, "although it could probably have been even worse if the frosts had been recorded 15 days later," assures Juan Manuel Coello, operations director of Patatas Meléndez, with whom Agronews has visited different plots devoted to this crop in the province of Valladolid.
Santiago Domínguez, one of the most important potato growers in the region, with more than 160 hectares planted with this tuber, affirms that "the frost has affected different areas to various extents, but in our case, 30-40% of the area has been severely affected. The experience had allowed us to confirm that watering the plants during or shortly before a frost not only fails to protect it, but actually results in those crops recording the most damage."
Coello says that production losses from frosts could amount to up to 25% of the production, as the crop tends to recover, "at least partially. We'll now have to wait and see how the weather develops over the next few weeks, but it is certain that the frosts will have an impact on the calibres and shapes. Above all, they have delayed the development of the tuber, which was well ahead schedule, as the sowing had been done early thanks to the favourable weather conditions."
Publication date: 5/12/2017
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