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José Rodríguez Carrascal, Manager of SAT Síntesis

"The cold is delaying the ripening of stone fruit, but it will also help it size up"

In Seville, Spain, this year's peach and nectarine campaigns have kicked off about a week ahead of schedule, and with prices similar to last season's, although a sudden drop in temperatures in almost all producing areas is slowing down the harvesting process.

"We had planned to start our campaign on April 16, but we eventually got underway on the 10th," says José Rodríguez Carrascal, manager of the Sevillian company SAT Síntesis, which grows peaches and nectarines in around 100 hectares of greenhouse space and another 400 hectares in the open ground in Seville.

"This winter, we've had very favorable conditions for stone fruit cultivation, with enough cold hours until the Christmas period and very warm temperatures from January onwards. This has resulted in the growth of quality flowers and a very good fruit setting, which has led to an early production," says Carrascal.

"Everything was going well until some storms, strong winds and hail hit us during Easter. This happened right when some varieties were about to be harvested. The earliest varieties suffered the consequences of the bad weather, but now we have already gone back to normal," says the manager of this company.

However, temperatures have plummeted in recent days, to averages below the usual for this time of year. "It's very rare to see temperatures in Seville ranging between a minimum of 6 degrees Celsius and a maximum of 20 when we are almost in May," says Carrascal. "The cold is expected to persist in the coming days and delay the fruit's ripening, but at the same time, this will also help it gain size, since it will be kept for longer on the tree," he says.

According to the manager of Sat Síntesis, although this should be a year with a full production in Murcia, "in recent campaigns, the overlap between Sevillian and Murcian nectarines and peaches is no longer giving the impression of an excess supply, since in Murcia, fruit tree plantations have been replaced by other horticultural and citrus crops," he says. "The production is selling well, with prices that, for now, are very similar to those of the latest campaign."

The company's early peaches and nectarines will be marketed under the Primor brand until mid-June in the EU and Swiss markets, with some shipments also being made to Malaysia and Singapore.

For more information:
José Rodríguez Carrascal
SAT Sintesis
Ctra. A-436, Km.2
41318 Villaverde del Río. Seville, Spain
+34 902702422
[email protected]

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