"The current mild climate is causing damage to cabbages. Temperatures easily exceed 20°C during the day and around 10°C at night, which is above the seasonal average. Thermal values between 4 and 12°C are most ideal for growing cabbages and broccoli," said Tarcisio Fiermonte, an agricultural technician who works with many growers from Capitanata, in the northern region of Apulia.
"For about a week now, we've been worrying about the white fly destroying several cauliflower fields. This pathogen is difficult to eradicate and the plants can suffer a lot of damage in a short period of time. Together with the growers, we are trying to save the areas that have not yet been attacked. Although less present, other similar problems are bacterial, botrytis and alternaria. In addition, because of the warmer weather, we had to deal with the difficulty to sell the early varieties of broccoli on the fresh market. There was a significant deformation of the corymb, as well as a proliferation of insects".
"The water shortage is also alarming. It has not rained for more than two weeks. During this period, water is being irrigated as if it were summer, which increases costs for many growers. Fortunately, there is demand, but these hot and dry days are causing supply to increase and prices to drop".
"For artichokes, the situation is different. The season started late and the available quantities are a lot less compared to other years. The growers don't complain because the prices are still satisfactory. Fennel, on the other hand, has no problems. There is sufficient supply and the quality is very high".