As of August 4, the production of commercial berries in Russia amounted to 10.8 thousand tons, which is 35% more than in the same period of 2019 (8 thousand tons), reports the Ministry of Agriculture. Kabardino-Balkaria, Altai Territory, Oryol, Moscow, Lipetsk Regions and Krasnodar Territory are the leading regions in terms of gross harvest.
However, industry analysts believe that this year's overall harvest of marketable berries will be lower than in the last. According to the company "Technologies of Growth", the production will amount to 18 thousand tons, compared to 18.7 thousand tons a year earlier. “The Southern District has been severely affected by recurrent frosts and hail, so the gross harvest of strawberries in the Krasnodar Territory has decreased compared to last year. The Moscow region, on the contrary, has obtained a good harvest," said the General Director of the company Tamara Reshetnikova to Agroinvestor.
According to the forecasts of the Berry Union, the berry harvest this year will be about 20% lower than in 2019, although some farms that set up new plantations for the 2020 harvest may see an increase in their productions. This year, berries in all southern regions have suffered not only from frosts, but also other factors, says the general director of the union Irina Koziy.
“Prolonged rains at the beginning of summer led to significant crop losses due to various diseases, since in our country there are almost no protective agents against rot and fungal diseases that are allowed for use on berry crops,” she says. “At the same time, due to the restrictions imposed during the coronavirus crisis, most berry producers have had to deal with a shortage of pickers, as seasonal workers from neighboring countries could not enter Russia. Many farms have experienced difficulties with the sale and shipment of their products; therefore, not the entire crop could be harvested and put on the market."
Koziy states that the final assessment of the berry harvest will be made closer to winter, after the end of the campaign in all regions.