Although the Spanish region of Aragon is usually hit by storms, this year, hail is wreaking havoc. In total, some 30,000 hectares of fruit, vines and cereals have already been damaged so far.
The territorial director of Agroseguro in Aragon, Juan Cruzán, says that in little more than five months, the compensations for claims in Aragon already amount to around 20 million Euros. "This year, hailstorms are causing a lot of damages," he said.
Between January and November 2019, the compensations in the region amounted to around 37 million Euro. Last year, the dry weather was the main reason for many of those claims; something that will not happen again this year. In fact, the 20 million reached so far this season is already a considerable figure. Still, it is worth keeping in mind that compensations are always higher when fruit trees have been affected (hail damages them most). "For a kilo of cherries, for example, you pay more than one Euro," says Cruzán, who recalls that in 2018, a particularly bad year because of the dry weather, some 90 million Euro were paid out in compensations in Aragon.
With almost 5,000 hectares affected, the Bajo Cinca, one of the most important fruit-growing areas in the region, has been one of the worst hit. The Hoya de Huesca (4,300 hectares), Bajo Aragón (6,100), La Almunia de Doña Godina (4,700) and the Zaragoza region (6,700) are among the most affected.
"No area has been spared and what we are seeing, perhaps due to climate change, is that storms are starting earlier and covering a larger area," says Cruzán.
Fortunately, according to Cruzán, practically all Aragonese fruit growers are insured.