Kearns Fruit Farm

Irish farmer says he's lost €200,000 worth of fruit

The recent hot weather has meant havoc for fruit growers and, in particular, has had a hugely detrimental effect on the strawberry. In the past weeks, strawberry plants have suffered and growers are struggling to get fruit picked before it spoils.

Jimmy Kearns, of Kearns Fruit Farm in Curraghgraigue, claims the weather was a disaster for strawberries, as the berries were ripening too quickly and had no great size when they did. He said it was taking three times as long as usual to pick the fruit.

Independent.ie quoted him as saying: “It’s just too hot. The ideal temperature for strawberries is about 18 or 19 degrees. If you hit high temperatures for long periods of time, the plant goes into distress and it just won’t grow anymore.”

He had to abandon about more than 3 hectares of fruit –around 140,000 plants– in favour of berries that were easier and quicker to pick. In total, he believes he has lost around €200,000 worth of fruit in the recent conditions.

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