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Cherry and stonefruit plantations were most affected in Roca

Argentina: High winds destroyed fruit in Upper Black River Valley

The gusts of over 80 miles per hour that hit the Upper Valley generated damages and losses among producers in the area. Cherry and stonefruit plantations were the most affected, although there was also damage to other species. In some cases, there were losses of up to 50%, although losses are still being quantified. 

Even though there still isn't an accurate assessment of the consequences of the strong gusts, some landholders from la Roca warned that the quality of the fruit could be low. The fruits are still small, but the winds might bruise them leaving marks so the product wouldn't reach its top quality. 

Carlos Jeldrezik, a producer in the area, estimated that half of the cherries were lost. He said this week's strong winds were another complication they had to face, as they had had problems due to heavy rains a few months ago. He also stated that it was fortunate this had happened now, because if it happened during harvest time they would have probably lost all their production. 

The winds brought damages as they knocked down part of the production and many branches, but they could also increase the possibility that some pests, such as the San Jose scale, multiply. These insects alight on the fruits and increase the damage. The winds can also delay the production process and shorten procedures in face of the harvest. 

Farmers are also concerned by the damage in stonefruits. While these were not as much affected as the cherry production, there were minor effects on plantations of plums and peaches that can lead to a decrease in their quality. This will directly affect their future value? as costs will increase and prices will be lower than expected at the beginning of the season. 

Meanwhile, the producers of Cipolletti have still to perform an assessment of the level of damage that the winds caused in the mountain fruits. Producers from Cipolletti and from Fern├índez Oro have been affected three times by the weather in recent months. 


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