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Manuel Alfaro, from El Pilonar:

"I hope that in 8 to 10 days, the strawberry campaign will overcome the impact of the rains and we'll catch up"

This year's strawberry harvest has been delayed "by at least 25%," says Manuel Alfaro from El Pilonar. "The delay has, in fact, been building up since the planting phase. The nurseries took about 10-12 days longer to deliver the plants to us this year, which translates into at least a month's delay in fruit production." It's important to keep in mind that plants slow their growth with the arrival of cold weather, so every day of autumn before winter temperatures are recorded counts for the development of the plants and for them to bloom and bear fruit earlier.

"We are picking between 45 and 50% less fruit per day than last year, especially now, after the rains. We really need the rain, but since the fruit's growth has been delayed, the plants were really loaded, and with the moisture and foggy days, a very high percentage of the fruit has rotted even before it could be picked."

"The early varieties have been the most affected by this, as there was a lot of fruit in them at this time, but in general, all have been affected, even the more expensive premium varieties."

"Now, with the weather improving, I hope that in 8 to 10 days, the campaign will recover, and we'll manage to catch up because there is a lot of demand in the market, and there is not enough fruit," says Manuel.

Regarding blueberries, which El Pilonar produces both organically and conventionally, there are varieties that have been "much delayed" this year, although the first Spanish volumes are now starting to hit the market. "So far, as in the case of strawberries, prices have been very good because there has been a very limited supply, but little by little, our campaign will go in full swing, and we hope things will go well."

For more information:
El Pilonar
Finca Las Palomeras, Bonares, Huelva. Spain
Tel.: +34 650 376 008 / +34 959 500 725

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