Late frost, a half-mast sun, cooling northeast winds ... the unfavourable weather conditions for agriculture followed one another this spring.
"We had seven complicated nights in mid-April when the trees were in bloom and the weekend before the ice saints. Plums were not properly pollinated. On the other hand, mirabelliers, pear trees, cherry trees were saved. As for apple trees, they have not been impacted at all," explains a farmer from Lorraine.
In order to fight against the elements of nature, producers had to put in place protections such as plastic blankets, candles, straw bale fires...
Others had to forget about their harvest like Cédric Brylka from Domaine de Beaucerf in Ventron where his currants were roasted by the cold. Thanks to crop diversification, this producer will be able to compensate for his losses: "The impact of a late spring is not the same at all. Overall this year nothing catastrophic, even if some trees have suffered enormously at altitude. We can harvest rhubarb or acacia and elder flowers for processing into fruit wine or brandy," he says.
The fateful moment to realize the losses is the time of harvest: "The most critical period is still the time of harvest. Last year, it started at the end of July and lasted eight weeks without a drop of rain [...] It is too early to have an idea of future volumes, but at this stage we can plan a correct campaign," explains Renaud Noël, commercial manager of the Mirabelle plum producers' cooperative Vegafruits, in Saint-Nicolas-de-Port.