“There's been significant damage, but we'll only be able to quantify it in a few days”

Lorca's artichoke fields were affected by black frost

This morning the Guadalentin Valley was covered by a layer of ice as last night the temperatures dropped to at least three degrees. “Temperatures plummeted this morning in Cazalla, Campillo, Purias, and La Hoya,” stated Francisco Martinez Minguez, the technical coordinator of the Mediterranean Food Cooperative of Lorca (Alimer).

There's been significant damage, but we'll only be able to quantify it in a few days, Martinez stated. "The frost caused a lot of damage because it lasted a long time. In addition, it was a black frost, which affects the product more harshly because it practically has no humidity."

The drop in temperature forecast prompted many farmers to advance their harvesting of artichokes to avoid its impact. “Producers worked over the weekend to prevent crops from being affected.”

“Unlike other years, the artichoke harvest was very advanced. A lot had been cut and there were some plantations that were empty. The cold will cause production to be momentarily paralyzed, so the only product available is the one that is stored. If this had happened in mid-December, it would have been a catastrophe, as the harvest started earlier than usual because of the temperature,” he said.

"The artichoke that froze lost quality. It can't be consumed fresh, so its value falls. In addition, some of it can't be used even to make canned goods. The heart and trunk of some of the pieces we managed to open this morning had frozen, which demonstrates the strength of the frost,” stated Martinez Minguez.

The cold also affected the lettuce crop. “Producers have to get rid of the leaves that have been damaged by the cold. As a result, lettuce sizes are smaller and their quality decreases, so they have to be sold at a lower price.” The frost also affected broccoli crops in some areas, "even though broccoli resists lower temperatures much better than other products," Martinez Minguez stated.


Source: laopiniondemurcia.es 

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