The frosts recorded on Tuesday, September 3, in the country have caused serious damage to crops, especially to almond, peach, and plum trees. That day, the frost lasted for more than 12 hours and the temperatures recorded in the southern oasis went down to -10° C and -5 to -8°C in the Uco Valley. In addition, according to forecasts, there will be more frost in the next few days and the temperatures will range between -3° and -5° C.
According to Martin Cavagnaro, an agricultural engineer from the Directorate of Agriculture and Climate Contingencies (DACC), “we'll know the actual damage in the next few days, when we can make a more thorough evaluation, making cuts in the buds and evaluating the flowers. There's probably some damage that we'll be unable to see until it manifests on the plant, such as tissue death or necrosis.”
According to the engineer, the late frosts were predictable, as they are common in this time of the year and it has not rained for two and a half months in the province of Mendoza. "Since the weather is very dry, conditions are more conducive to frost," he said. However, last year was characterized by partial and milder frosts than those recorded.
Agronomist Belen Bobadilla, of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and Tourism of Tunuyan, said that it would take time to see the effects of the frost in the Uco Valley plants, but that almond and stone fruits crops would be the most affected, as they were among the most advanced crops.
“It was a complicated frost. The relative humidity of the environment and the temperature were very low. We still can't assess the damage because most of the fruit trees are in the pink button phenological state, but more advanced crops (almond and stone fruit trees) have suffered the consequences. In some cases, producers took action to fight the frost by using burners, specifically in those crops. The rest of the crops did not require these actions, but it will be necessary to see how the fruit set develops and how the season continues. We are beginning the flowering season,” she added.