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Charentais melon forecast : Morocco - Spain – France
Yellow Charentais area increases in Spain
The melon forecasts for Charentais from Morocco, Spain and France were presented at last week’s Medfel, Perpignan (France). Production of Charentais melons in Morocco covers 1560-1800 ha, of which 950-1,050 ha is in the Marrakech area. The melon season begins at the end of February and lasts until April in Dakhla (260-300ha), followed by the start of greenhouse production in Agadir (350-450ha) and Marrakech at the end of March. Greenhouse harvest in Marrakech is slightly delayed this year. Field crops are harvested from the 20th April for the yellow Charentais and the 25th April for the green, reaching it's peak between the 5-15th May. There has been a slight drop in acreage in Dakhla this year and a continual decrease in Agadir. Acreage remains stable in Marrakech and Kenitra despite a decrease in small producers. The season is good this year with no weather problems.
Harvest in Spain begins between April-May in Almeria, in 'competition' with the Moroccan green Charentais, followed by May-July in Murcia-Malaga. Yellow Charentais surface has increased in the Murcia-Malaga area and acreage reaches 2,500-2,600 ha (of which 500-600 ha are used for green Charentais). Weather has been favourable and overall, crops are healthy. Acreage remains stable in Almeria (especially that of greenhouse green Charentais) totalling 300-350 ha. Volume increases between the 15-20th May through until the end of June with some continuing into July. Crops are healthy with calibre varying depending on the plot.
French melons are slightly early this year. Melons from heated greenhouses were on the market at the start of May, followed by tunnels at the end of the month. Charentais melon acreage in France totals 14,060 ha, of which 5,400 ha is in the South-East where the main production is under covers and tunnels (3,400 ha), followed by 1,350 ha in outdoor crops and 650 ha sheltered. Favourable weather conditions mean that crops are healthy, about a week early at the moment, but to be confirmed depending on the weather over the second half of May. Acreage has dropped slightly in the South-West to 3,500 ha (100 ha in large shelters, 1,500 ha under covers and tunnels, 1,900 ha outdoors) and to 4,900 ha in the Centre-West (30 ha in large shelters, 2,100 ha under covers and tunnels, 2,770 ha outdoors) but crops are healthy and volume could make up for the surface decrease. The South-West and Centre-West have experienced good conditions, are slightly early but this could change depending on the weather over May and June.
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