Germany: Frost decimated apple harvest

Frost during blossoming and other weather events have taken their toll on European apple trees: The harvest is going to be significantly lower than it used to be. The region around the lower Elbe, the largest continuous fruit cultivation area of Nothern Europe, got off comparatively lightly. According to reports of the Landvolk press service, producers are estimating the yields to be one third lower than they were last year, reaching around 200,000 tons. For all of Germany, the AMI is estimating yields of about 550,000 tons, a loss of 46% compared to last year. "We are expecting market reactions and therefore higher prices," says Ulrich Buchterkirch, chairman of the specialist group for fruit cultivation of Landvolk Lower Saxony. For producers this is a necessary adjustment after a few years with unsatisfactory yields. From a consumer standpoint, an increase of 40 to 50 Cent per kilogram will still be moderate. Increasing prices can also be felt on the market for cider apples, where the pressure on the prices was extremely high.

But it's not only Germany who faces losses, the frost hit all of the EU. The numbers were announced at the big meetig of the sector, Prognosfruit, in Lleida, Spain. Apparently, the EU-apple harvest of 9.3 million tons will be more than 20% below the yields of last year. Not only in Germany but also in Poland and Italy the trees are bearing significantly less fruit; in France there are only losses of eight percent. Within Germany, producers around Lake Constance and the Rhine are expecting losses of 65 and 50 percent respectively, and are therefore significantly worse off than the lower Elbe region.

The kick-off of the apple season in at the Alte Land is planned for September 9th at 3.30pm with a large family friendly festival at the estate Obsthof Matthies in Jork-Borstel. They are planning activities for children, tastings and lots of information around the favorite fruit of Germans. The teams of the producers' associations, Schulapfel, Landfrauen, Altländer Obstbauern and many more are looking forward to welcoming countless guests. Especially guest of honor Dr. Bernd Althusmann. The state chairman of the CDU Lower Saxony will officially start the apple season of 2017. The traditional apple donation from the cultivation area is going to the KinderLicht e.V. to support clowns visiting children's hospitals and two schools with the presentation of the school-apple.

Source: Landvolk

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