After more than 20 days with rather low temperatures on the Mediterranean coast, peaks of up to 27 degrees Celsius were reached last weekend in some producing areas, which is quite unusual for this time of the year. Temperatures are still high, although they are falling slightly. Meanwhile, heat waves in southern Italy have caused the early flowering of many fruit trees. In Spain, for now, there are no significant effects on agriculture.
“The cold has come in handy for stone fruit trees to accumulate cold hours. Although the setting and flowering process was delayed by five days, the coming of these high temperatures may have advanced the harvesting dates, since they have accelerated the flowering of the extra-early varieties,” says Joaquin Gómez, president of the Association of Producers and Exporters of Fruit, Table Grapes and Other Agricultural Products (Apoexpa). "However, it is still too early to know, since there is always a risk of frost between February and March," he said.
“The extra-early varieties started to bloom in early January, although with the arrival of the cold the flowering process slowed down considerably. The arrival of the heat has given it another boost and we are back on schedule,” says the expert in stone fruit trees Thomas Chevalier, from PSB Vegetal Production. "Fortunately, temperatures have not exceeded 28 degrees Celsius, since then the flowers could have been burned," he said.
The heat has also reactivated the vegetable production in Murcia and Almeria. The production of broccoli, cauliflower and leafy vegetables had been slowed down in previous weeks, causing prices to reach rather high levels, especially in the case of cauliflower and lettuce.