Chile: Rains fall but create new inconvenience for table grapes

An unusual rainfall, considering the severe water shortage affecting the area, was considered a positive thing. It affected much of Chile's Coquimbo region on Monday and could have adverse effects mainly on crops of table grapes.

Francisco Meza, regional director of INIA Intihuasi, said that "in normal times, that is, if we were not being affected by the current drought, these rains would have no positive effect." The specialist explained that these precipitations generated a decrease in the evaporation and transpiration process, which lowers irrigation demand and, since there is no water, that is seen as positive thing, but that is a result of the year we are having."

What's negative, in his view, is that these rains can lead to the development of fungal diseases depending on the crop. "For example, in grapes, there might be problems particularly in those sectors that are prone to the development of botrytis, because the grapes are still green and newly formed; there's that risk."

Meanwhile, the regional secretary of Agriculture, Daniela Norambuena, agreed that these rains could have negative effects on the production of table grapes, but, since they had been forecast, they had worked together with regional producers in order to take measures so that they would be ready against this eventuality.

If we hadn't adopted these measures, said Norambuena, "we could have lost fruit and had a decline in production."

Source: Diarioeldia

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