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NL: Severe damage to fruit cultivation after severe winterFruit cultivation has suffered tens of millions of euro damage as a result of severe cold this Winter. Almost all over the Netherlands there is damage. The damage is most severe in Flevoland and North Holland, in the north of the country. Also parts of Utrecht and North Brabant further south have been hit hard. Pears have been especially damaged, but other fruit as well.
In Flevoland it is expected that the average pear harvest will only be 20-30% of normal yields, in North Holland the average is slightly higher. But in both Flevoland and North Holland a number of growers have no harvest at all. The total damage will certainly be in the region of tens of millions of euro.
The damage at the moment shows dead flower buds and internal brown colouring of the stems. Although the exact expectation of the harvest can only be established closer to the summer, it is already clear that the Dutch harvest will be smaller because of a decrease in flower buds. The internal brown colouring may mean that the fruit trees will not survive. The sector is very afraid of a decrease in trees and fruit harvest. The exact decrease in fruit is impossible to establish already now, as the trees are budding on the preserve of reserves. Because of the wet autumn and the relatively high temperatures in December and January the trees were not entirely in winter rest and therefore sensitive to frost in February this year.
The Dutch Fruitgrowers Association will during the coming months establish the damage further and is planning what further steps are to be undertaken.
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