Salto Grande

Argentina: Blueberry harvest troubled by rain

Heavy rains are causing trouble at the start of the blueberry harvest in the region of Salto Grande, Argentina, and producers fear a loss of the fruit's export quality.

The representative of the firm Blueberries S.A., Juan Scordia, told the newspaper Diario Río Uruguay, that "what has already been scheduled to be harvested at a given date cannot wait." 

He said that on rainy and stormy days the fruit that is ready to be harvested should remain untouched, because "it cannot be wet, so it is necessary to wait for the dew to evaporate," which can sometimes end up affecting production.

The entrepreneur pointed out that "the fruit continues to mature and loses export quality, complicating things for the producers, who cannot harvest what they have." According to Scordia, "several kilos of fruit remain unharvested, and producers start having trouble."

Scordia said that all forecasts predict a season marked by rains and unstable weather. He also mentioned that "the harvest barely started during the few days without storms and rain, but we know that there is plenty of trouble ahead, just like in 2009, with many rainy days, which will require us to go the extra mile."

"It spells trouble for us, because with blueberries, what remains unharvested today must be harvested tomorrow," which adds up to the difficulties we have had to find workers. "You cannot find people in a matter of hours and it is not easy to increase the workforce by 20 to 30% to be able to meet demand."

After that he said that "as a general rule, people hire workers for three to four weeks, and the fact that they live in the countryside is an advantage. As soon as it stops raining, at around 8 to 9 o'clock in the morning, the field will be dry by 1 o'clock in the afternoon, and you have your workers ready. But if you need to muster them in Concordia, it becomes complicated and you lose almost the entire day."

Source: Unoentrerios

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