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Italy: Cold front damages stone fruit in Basilicata

50% of early nectarines in greenhouses have been damaged, while almost all of open-field orchards have been destroyed. It seems late varieties are safe.

FreshPlaza visited some producers located in the Policoro and Scanzano Jonico areas to assess the damage caused on 28th February 2018, when the temperature dropped to -5°C.

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"We've lost at least half of the early Garofà nectarine production. Big Bang recorded no problem as buds were still closed," explains Antonio Sabato.

Covers mean production is 15 days earlier than in open fields. In this case, they even saved the crops. Antonio Sabato has been growing nectarines for 40 years. "I think Big Top are the nicest, but Big Bang also have a good flavour. In the past, white Caldesi 2000 nectarines have been quite popular as well."

"Larger fruits are not only nicer to look at, but they're often also the nicest to eat. I believe that, if Northern Europe was to try larger fruits, they would actually prefer them to smaller ones." The producer sells his fruit through "Piraccini Secondo".

Broad bean damaged by frost

The broad bean crop has been lost, but raspberries are safe thanks to covers, which have kept the temperature 4°C higher than outside.

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