At MedFEL, Catherine Taussig of APREL, presented the 2019 predictions for the Charentais melon harvest in Morocco, Spain and France.
Generally speaking, the surfaces have not evolved much. There is a slight decrease in France and Morocco and a slight increase in Spain. The favorable weather conditions in all production areas led to decent set-ups and a rather early calendar.
The sequence of harvests between Morocco and Spain has been good. Spanish and French melons are expected at the end of May and in the month of June, depending on the current weather in Spain and the setting in progress in France.
France: More organic surfaces
In France, there is a slight decrease of total surfaces and a slight progression of organic surfaces. The climate has been favorable to setting them up until the end of March, hence the slightly early calendar in the southeast at this point. French melons will arrive at the beginning of May for heated shelters, and mid-May for the large non-heated shelters. The harvest for the melons grown under low tunnels (‘chenilles’) is expected at the end of March/beginning of June.
Morocco: More greenhouses in Marrakech
The peak of the Moroccan production has passed. Almost only the field crops are remaining, which represent a smaller part of the production than greenhouses and shelters.
In Dakhla, surfaces are decreasing slightly and planting was delayed. The harvest took place between the end of February and the end of April. Generally speaking, the melons were big and of good quality.
In Marrakech, the surfaces are stable, but the greenhouses keep increasing to the detriment of the open fields. The first greenhouse harvests started around March 20th and are now finished. The melons benefited from an exceptionally sunny and warm weather until March 25th. Then, hail storms caused some damage. Yet, the melons were quite big.
The open-field crops were bundled during the first half of January. The harvest of the yellow Charentais melons started on April 10th, while the harvest of the green Charentais melons began around the 15th-20th of April. Just like the greenhouse and shelter productions, calibers were rather large.
Spain: More surfaces in Murcia-Alicante
In Almeria and Malaga-Seville, the situation is rather stable. In Murcia-Alicante, the surfaces are slightly increasing. There is less uncertainty about water than last year. The interest for precocity is still high with planting from February. The weather has been favorable in February and March, but the cold and the rain in April had variable consequences. The first harvests are expected at the end of April/beginning of May. The most important production will take place in the second half of May and in June, and will even continue through July and August for some operators.