"Chile: "Up to 70% of grapes affected by splitting due to rainfall"

The unusual rains recorded last week in central Chile caused significant damage to producers in the area. With an intensity of between 20 and 45 mm in the grape-producing districts of the Valley of Aconcagua, Santa María, San Felipe and San Esteban, only a few days after the alert situation, growers in the region confirm that the main problem is the splitting of the fruit.

"In Santa Maria and the lower part of San Esteban, it rained up to 30 mm, so in the beginning we expected the damage to be great, but fortunately, we have only observed approximately 10% of splitting. In the upper part of San Esteban, Lo Calvo and El Cobre, however, we have confirmed that up to 70% of the fruit is affected by splitting, mainly the Flame variety, which is the earliest in this area," confirmed Leonardo Valenzuela, of the association Mi Fruta.

Also, our sources reported that fungi did not take long to appear, and in the case of the Red Globe variety, burn damage was verified. "The presence of powdery mildew has been confirmed, so we will have to carry out strict and continuous phytosanitary controls. We have also verified magnifying glass effect damage to Red Globe grapes, probably because of the rain that remained on the fruit, which burned it when the sun rose," stated the producer.

"Although there will be a decrease in the area's production, we believe that this situation will not take a significant toll on exports, because the area does not produce very large volumes. The rains did not cause as much damage as we thought in the beginning. It will only affect the Flame variety and a bit of the Superior, because the valley didn't yet have many volumes to be harvested," concluded Valenzuela. 

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