Spain: Heavy rainfall has so far not caused significant damage to crops

Because of the heavy rainfall recorded in Castellon last Thursday, many areas on the coast have been flooded. Consequently, agricultural activities have almost ground to a halt. So far, however, no significant damage to crops has been recorded.

According to Pascual Pla, of the NULEXPORT cooperative in Nules, the activities in the area's citrus packaging plants have come to a standstill because the flooded plantations are not accessible. The grower says that the rainfall is actually "a blessing." The earliest varieties have already been harvested and the Clemenules, the most planted variety in the province of Castellon, has seen a considerable delay in the harvest and is still green at the moment. This rainfall will thus contribute to the Clemenules reaching better sizes, which is desperately needed," explains Pascual Pla.

The agricultural infrastructure has received the most damage. There are many inaccessible roads, which means there's no way to reach the plots, with the result that the daily tasks cannot be carried out and no harvesting work can take place.

 

According to Ramón Mampel, of the agricultural organization Unió de Llauradors, it will only possible to have a final balance of the situation when the rains are over. He says, however, that "no serious damage has been caused so far to any of the various crops."

When it comes to vegetable cultivation, especially of lettuce, fungal problems could arise if the products remain under water for several days.

As for citrus fruits, there is, according to Mampel, a "certain concern because of the likelihood of root swelling having taken place due to the flooding. There is also the possibility of strong temperature rises after the heavy rainfall, and this could result in phytosanitary problems in the form of mold." Nevertheless, the rainfall of the last few hours has mostly contributed to saving irrigation water, filling the water supply and cleaning the trees (protecting them from pests). In any case, we'll have to keep an eye on the rainfall over the next few days."

Insurances

La Unió explains that having a combined agricultural insurance covers the losses caused by the following:

✔ Decay, dragging of material or mudflows on the insured property.
✔ Root entanglement, dragging, uprooting or burying of trees.
✔ The inability to harvest during the rainfall or in the 10 days thereafter.
✔ Pests and diseases recorded in the 10 days after the rain in places where it is not feasible to carry out the necessary treatments because of the plot being inaccessible.


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