The intense rains registered in the central and southern areas of the country, which in some cases included hail, have had serious consequences on seasonal fruit crops, such as blueberries, table grapes, and stone fruit trees.
Based on information from the technical teams deployed to the different fruit-producing areas of the country, and from the ASOEX Table Grapes, Blueberries, and Stone Fruit Committees, Ronald Bown Fernandez, the President of the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile AG (ASOEX), said: "At this time we have received new reports of splitting in blueberries from later areas, especially in the Brightwell and Ochlockonee varieties. The situation of the Last Call variety is still being evaluated. However, the damage observed so far will affect the production and export volume of the 2020-2021 season."
Regarding the damage to table grapes, Bown said: "There are crops that received a lot of damage. Not only because they have evident cracks, but also because many vineyards collapsed due to the weight of the water. For example, in Rancagua, an important area in the production of this fruit, the Thompson variety is already showing evidence of crescent disease or nail disease, associated with a fungus that rots the grain making it hard to market this fruit. In addition, it hailed in the area this morning and the effects of this storm are currently being evaluated."
"There was some loss of stone fruit, especially of peaches and plums, either due to partition or possible rot," the President of ASOEX added.
"The sector has been facing many challenges, not only because of the bad weather but also because of the pandemic, the shortage of labor to harvest, and the worrying outlook in China for our cherries. We know that the production and export volumes will be affected. However, it's very difficult to state how big of an impact it will have on the sector; especially because it continues to rain in some areas, other areas are isolated, and because some effects, such as rot, can only be truly evaluated in time. We hope to have a more complete report next week."
According to a report from the Foundation for Fruit Development (FDF) between Saturday and Sunday morning, there were nearly 60 mm of rainfall in some areas of the Metropolitan, Valparaiso, O'Higgins, Maule, Ñuble, Biobio, La Araucania, and Los Rios regions.
You can review the full report here.
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