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The campaign progresses with good yields, sizes and higher than usual prices

Early harvesting and significant advances in mechanization save garlic crops from storms in Albacete

The recent spell of rain and hail in the Spanish province of Albacete has only caused minor damage to garlic crops thanks to the harvest being almost a month ahead of schedule, as well as the significant advances made in mechanization.

"The storms caught us with the early Spring garlic harvest nearly finished in Castile-La Mancha, as it was ahead by about 20 to 25 days compared to the usual dates. Normally, Manchego Spring garlic starts to be harvested in the first week of June, and this year we started on May 15," says Luis Fernando Rubio, director of the National Association of Garlic Producers and Marketers, ANPCA.

"Therefore, the impact of the storms has been minimal and restricted to certain locations. We have heard reports of some slight damages in purple garlic plots, where hail has taken its toll on the leaves of the plants," says the representative of this association, which brings together more than 1,800 producers and the 56 most important garlic marketing companies in Spain, which together account for 70% of the total Spanish marketed production.

According to Luis Fernando Rubio, a decisive factor for the harvest being quicker than usual has been the significant progress achieved in the mechanization of harvesting processes in the Spanish garlic sector, driven by the heavy burden of labor regulations on producers, as well as the difficulties in finding labor.

"Significant progress has been achieved in the mechanization of garlic harvesting in Spain in the last two campaigns, although this has started to be noticeably effective this year. This translates into a much faster and more efficient transfer of the production from the field to the drying and packing centers. With this, we also avoid potential weather-related issues," says the director of the ANPCA.

"Persistent rains spoiled much of the production, but this year, for now, we are facing a harvest with very good yields and sizes, as well as a spectacular quality, and that is already being reflected in the prices, which are much higher than usual at this time," says Luis Fernando Rubio. "We hope that the purple garlic harvest will also be problem-free and with the same quality."

For more information:
Luís Fernando Rubio
Plaza Arrabal del Coso, s/n. Aptdo. 66
16660 Las Pedroñeras, Cuenca. Spain
+34 638 10 39 10
[email protected]

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