Hailstorm affects more than 20,000 hectares of crops in Valencia and Castellon

The historic hailstorm in Valencia yesterday, with ice stones the size of nuts, had a strong impact on a large area of crops in numerous areas of the provinces of Valencia and Castellon. According to an initial estimate made by the Valencian Association of Farmers (AVA-ASAJA), "the hailstorm affected more than 20,000 hectares of agricultural land. It caused variable damage to the crops, affecting 100% of the production in some fields. The storm affected the Coastal, l'Horta, and Alto Palancia regions the most. The crops that suffered the most losses were citrus, kaki, almond, and olive crops."

"In the Coast region, the storm caused serious damage in hundreds of farms in Montesa and Vallada. There are oranges, mandarins, and kaki fruits that were struck six to seven times by the hailstorm. In the most severe cases, producers lost the entirety of their crop and the hail even caused damage to the plants that could weaken them and reduce next year's productivity. There are also damages in crops in nearby areas, such as Aielo de Malferit, in the Vall d'Albaida."

"The hailstone surprised the citizens of Valencia and of different parts of L’Horta, such as Paterna, Manises, Burjassot, Quart de Poblet, Riba-roja del Túria, and Loriguilla. The hail had a considerable size but it wasn't very dense. It was accompanied by water, so the damages to citrus, kaki, and vegetable crops were not catastrophic. The hail in the province of Castellón was more widespread and intense in Alto Palancia, especially in the areas of Jérica, Navajas, Segorbe, Altura, and Soneja. Almond, olive, citrus, and kaki crops were the most affected crops."

According to AVA-ASAJA, the Valencian agricultural sector has been affected by at least five hailstorms since last May and weather forecasts do not rule out more storms in the coming days. In this sense, the agrarian organization highlighted the importance of hiring agricultural insurance as the only guarantee of income available to farmers in the face of climatic adversities, and that hail is the best-covered risk.

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