Spain: Almeria's campaign starts with more tomatoes, peppers and beans

The first data collected by the Provincial Delegation of the Council of Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment show a noteworthy increase in the surface, and consequently, in the production of Almeria's main horticultural products: tomatoes and peppers, as well as beans, which although still modest in surface and production volumes, are consolidating their recovery started a few years ago.

Given these first estimations, the Council's territorial delegate, José Manuel Ortiz, trusts the autumn-winter campaign "to have a good start and match the expectations created these first few weeks. External factors may help, such as the premature end of production in Central Europe and the production decline outside the EU, where delays in production are also expected."

Ortiz, currently in Madrid supporting Almeria's horticultural sector at Fruit Attraction, is confident that the good start of the season will be confirmed in the next few months and that the final balance of the 2012-2013 season "will consolidate and even improve last year's results."

More tomatoes, peppers and beans

Tomatoes, for which more than 9,100 hectares were planted last year, an increase of around 10% is expected, which presumably will increase the crop's acreage to 10,000 hectares, strengthening its position as Almeria's main agricultural product. The confidence shown in tomatoes has mostly to do with prices remaining at good levels. Regarding varieties, the "fat" falls a little; the "on the vine" slightly increases (+5%) due to late plantings, and the "pear" considerably increases (+20%). Grafted tomato, according to these data, represents 34% of the total.

In the case of peppers, despite prices not performing well in the 2011-2012 season, an increase in acreage is expected which could vary between 12 and 15%. This mainly applies to "red California" plantations, as the "lamuyo" and "Italian" varieties should grow more moderately (between 2 and 3%). In any case, the main reason for this increase is that peppers have become an established product in Almeria thanks to the biological control of the crop.
Consequently, their surface this campaign could well exceed 8,000 hectares.

Regarding beans, after three years growing, the acreage is expected to increase by around 10%, which means 1,300 hectares will be cultivated.

Cucumber and aubergine, stable

For their part, cucumbers are expected to stay at the same level as in previous seasons, or even lose between 2 and 3% of land. In fact, in early July and August plantings fell by 10%. As for the remaining ones, it seems that in September they will fall significantly and that the October and November ones will rise. In the 2011-2012 campaign more than 4,500 hectares were cultivated.

Aubergines also appear to remain stable, mainly because of the late plantings.

By contrast, up until now courgettes have fallen between 10 and 12%. Although the performance of the October and November plantings remains to be seen, it seems that the acreage for this crop could fall between 5 and 10%. Last season, Almeria devoted 5,600 hectares to courgettes.

Source: Teleprensa

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