Alessandro Morini, a producer with almost 40 hectares of apple orchards in the Verona province, explains that the damage appeared to be more limited right after the frost however, 8 days later, the situation does not appear to be good.
"Gala and Golden are the varieties mostly affected. Quantities and quality have dropped and costs are higher. I have verified that 2-3 out of 5 flowers are black, so they will not produce. It is often the first bloom that is lost, the one producing the best fruit, leading to a sensible drop in general quality. Though it is still early to be certain."
One thing that is indeed certain is thinning costs. "It is no longer possible to perform chemical thinning, so we will have to perform it manually. However, labor is hard to find. I am practically on my own dealing with 40 hectares. It is not easy and I will not be able keep up this rhythm for long. Something needs to be done when it comes to labor or we will all deal with serious problems."
According to Morini, 70% of apples in the Verona area are of the Golden and Gala variety. Pink Lady was not affected as much. "I truly hope the frost expected for this period does not make things worse."