Erik Kieftenburg of Fruit Noordholland ltd:

"Netherlands: "Disastrous fruit harvest due to an off year, frost damage and bad blooming"

The Dutch fruit harvest will likely be much lower this year. According to Erik Kieftenburg of Fruit Noordholland ltd, the Dutch plum harvest will probably only be 60% of the volume of a good harvest. "Most plum varieties haven't been bothered by the winter frost, but have been by the weather during the blooming period. During the blooming period there was not a single nice day and there are varieties, like some big blue varieties that have almost no plums this year. These varieties were further out of their hibernation when the disastrous frost froze the buds." Plums of the variety Reine Victoria, of Dutch origin, are available in the months August and September. 70% of the Reine Victoria are grown in North Holland.

Erik estimates the cherry harvest at 50% of the volume of a good year. "The apple and pear harvest will also be much lower. Here and at the Flevopolders the frost wreaked havoc in February and many pear bud froze to death. A combination of an off year, frost damage and bad blooming caused a disastrous harvest. There is a lot of damage due to frozen root stocks among young plantations of Conference. Mainly trees planted high up have a brown dead bark on the root stock. The downward flow of sap with food for the roots has been broken. Assimilates poison the tree and the roots slowly die. Knowing that these trees are going to die, they still look quite good, due to the moderate weather. So we will have to wait and see. I can't look into the future, but the expectation is that the prices could be a lot higher than last year due to all this."

For more information:
Fruit Noordholland BV
Groothandelsmarkt 2
1681 NN Zwaagdijk

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