The agricultural organization Asaja-Almería has made a first estimate of the spring harvest, expecting a slowdown in the growth of the province's watermelon acreage, while that devoted to melon cultivation remains more or less similar compared to the previous season. The organization blames this on circumstances such as the rise in production costs and the impact of hail in Campo de Níjar in January.
The representative of Asaja-Almeria said that "Campo de Níjar is precisely one of the largest watermelon producing areas, having recorded an increase in the number of transplants for the early production. However, following the impact of storm Gloria, more late watermelons may be produced, and that production could overlap with the open ground harvest."
In the case of melons, both the acreage and the planting dates will generally remain the same. Varieties such as the Piel de Sapo continue to gain ground on others, such as Galia or Cantaloup.
Concerns about prices
They said that "it is a fact that the planting decisions of producers are motivated by the price crisis and the need for labor, and this is seen again in the spring harvest, with zucchini, watermelon and melon fundamentally as the most popular."
Asaja has expressed its "concern" about the profitability of zucchini, whose price "has fallen by 38%" in a week. This year, its price in January has stood 16% below the average of the last eight years. The product has also had one of the worst campaigns, with a 30% drop in terms of value compared to the average of the last eight campaigns."