Hail storms have again hit the Spanish region of Aragon at a time when the fruit production for the spring / summer season is more sensitive. The latest hailstorm was recorded on Wednesday afternoon and affected part of the Comarca de los Monegros and the Cinco Villas.
"This week has been difficult for the agricultural sector. We have registered storms practically every day and also in different areas of Aragon. Fruit crops in Calatayud, Bajo Cinca and Bajo Aragón have been affected, with significant damage to peaches, apricots, cherries and apples," said the general secretary of the Union of Small Producers (UPA), José Manuel Roche, in a statement to Europa Press.
The extent of the losses has yet to be assessed, but "on the hail-affected areas, between 30 and 80 percent of the production may be damaged," said Roche.
Fruit will suffer considerable damage
The president of the Association of Young Agricultural Producers (ASAJA) in Huesca, Fernando Luna, said that "in the Osso de Cinca area, we believe that the fruit will have suffered considerable damage after the storms this Wednesday."
"We must not forget that cherries have also been affected in Bolea, where hail has caused some cracking on the fruit." He stressed that last Wednesday's storm was the second major one in the area, as 30 liters per square meter had been recorded on Sunday.
Lower temp hire
The significant damage that hail storms are causing to fruit productions in the region will lead to a reduction in the number of day laborers needed this season.
According to Roche, "the start of the cherry season in Aragon has been bad, especially due to the rains, which has entailed a reduced need for laborers for the harvest."