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Assessing the impact of hail on Ukraine’s raspberry, apple, blueberry crops

Recently, several agricultural regions in Ukraine were subjected to unusually large hailstorms, prompting concerns about the potential damage to fruit crops. EastFruit experts have conducted an initial assessment to gauge the extent of the impact on vital horticultural produce.

The hailstorms left their mark across multiple regions, including Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Sumy, Vinnytsia, Cherkasy, Khmelnytskyi, and Zakarpattia. Notably, larger farms experienced a stroke of luck as the hail narrowly missed their lands, causing damage primarily to neighboring villages. Reports from agronomists at these larger enterprises indicate that their orchards remained unscathed, while smaller farms in the vicinity weren't as fortunate.

A significant factor in mitigating the damage was the presence of anti-hail nets. Farms equipped with these protective measures reported minimal to no damage, underscoring the value of such investments in safeguarding crops against severe weather.

Preliminary data suggests that apple orchards suffered hail damage to only about 5-10% of their total area in the affected regions. Blueberry growers appear to have fared even better, with losses being relatively lower, especially among larger-scale operations. Conversely, raspberry farmers, particularly those with smaller plots, may find it challenging to quantify the exact toll taken by the hail.

Despite these setbacks, the overall impact on the berry market is expected to be minimal. However, meteorologists caution that the threat of hailstorms will persist until the end of June. With an anomalously early ripening season for blueberries and raspberries in 2024, there's an increased risk of further losses should more hail events occur.


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