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Spain: Early chestnut campaign estimated to be reduced by half in Malaga
The chestnut campaign has started in the province of Malaga with the harvest of the early varieties, the Portuguesa in Igualeja and Cartajima, the early Bravía in Jubrique, the early Rubia in Genalguacil and the Gallega in Júzcar and other municipalities. These varieties account for a small share of the total production of the Genal Valley. Although there is still no data, the first unofficial forecasts claim that there may be a 50% drop in the production volume of these early varieties.
This year, the early chestnut production is expected to fall due to two factors: the high temperatures recorded this summer, which unfortunately continue, and the impact of the chestnut gall wasp, a species that seems to have a preference for early varieties.
The fruit is of good quality and has a good colour, even though the heat is making the harvest more difficult.
In late September or early October, depending on the area, the main variety of the Valley will arrive, the Pilonga, considered the third best chestnut in the world. It is an exquisite chestnut for fresh consumption because of its taste, size, colour, ease of peeling, etc.
The weather of the next 15 days will mark the development of the chestnut campaign. Chestnut producers are hoping for the arrival of rain and lower temperatures so that the trees and soil can be refreshed, facilitating the harvesting and allowing for greater volumes to be harvested.
In a normal year, the 3,500 hectares of chestnut trees produce between 3.5 and 4 million kilos of chestnuts. At the moment, it is still too early to make a forecast but, according to the sector, the early chestnut harvest may be reduced by half.
Publication date: 9/29/2017
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