3 months of rain fell in 2 days

Flooding stalls vegetable harvest in Latvia

Flooding in the North and East of Latvia has made it vitually impossible for growers to harvest their beetroot, carrots and potatoes and has caused difficulties for harvesting cabbage, root celery and leeks.

"Our production is split evenly throughout the country, so I would say that we are looking for a potential 50% loss if the weather doesn't dry up for us enough to harvest. Conditions are more or less better from Riga to the west in the direction of Poland, but it is a disaster from Riga to the East." shared Edite Strazdina, Chairwoman of the Board for vegetable cooperative Musmaju Darzeni.

Cabbage has faired a bit better than carrots, beetroot and potatoes, as it can handle the rain a bit better. The wetter summer with cooler temperatures had actually been better for the cabbage, but it will be a big problem if producers are unable to get them out of the fields.

Edite said that the deadline for harvesting cabbage and carrots will be by the end of October, possibly until mid-November, but this depends entirely on the temperature. Once temps go down to -5/-6, it will be too late.

"Planting was 3 weeks late this spring, so it is not so unexpected that the harvest would be a little later too, but the rain is not stopping long enough for us to get into the fields. I would think that 2 to 3 days of dry weather would give us enough room to start. Eastern Lativa had 40-60 mm in two days, which is the amount we would normally see in 2 days. It rained 30 hours last week without stopping." shared Edite.

The winter veggies that Latvia produces are grown primarily for the domestic market. When there is enough supply, some of the produce is exported to neighbouring countries such as Estonia, Lithuania, Czech Republic and Belarus.

"This weather situation will make an already difficult market more difficult. The supermarkets in Latvia look at price over quality and because we are already a smaller market, it is difficult to compete with larger producers from Poland and the Baltic states in terms of pricing." lamented Edite.

For more information:
Edite Strazdina
Musmaju Darzeni
Tel: +371 29155836
Email: edite@musmajudarzeni.lv

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