Ardèche cherries will be rare this year. After the frost wave of early April, nearly 90% of the production has been lost, and for the spared fruit, the harvest has begun.
According to the Chamber of Agriculture of the Ardèche, between 80 and 90% of the department’s fruit-growing areas are affected. Similar situation in the Drôme department where 70% of the fruit have been lost.
For Bernard Habauzit, producer in Vesseaux (Ardèche), the harvest started earlier this week. His 2.5 hectares of cherry trees were spared by the frost. “This year, the cherries are more sensitive than usual. They suffer from the colder temperatures, do not grow well and tend to split easily. My cherries were only slightly affected by the frost: they are a bit misshapen, the pits are breaking, but I know I am lucky to be able to harvest this year. At the cooperative where I sell my cherries, I am the only one of 15 producers to sell this year. I expect to produce about 12 tons, instead of the usual 15.”