Bad news Czech Republic. The frosts damaged the fruit crop in a big way

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Damage to the fruit crop will be extensive due to the current severe frost. Fruit orchards in Bohemia were particularly affected by the frost. In South Moravia, the damage is still local. Fruit growers are now counting up the damage, said Martin Ludvík, chairman of the Fruit Union of the Czech Republic. According to him, other European countries also report significant damage from frost.

According to Ludvík, fruit growers will comment on the damage in more detail on Thursday at a briefing with Minister of Agriculture Mark Výborny (KDU-ČSL) in the orchards in Daminevsi near Mělník. The Ministry of Agriculture stated that the briefing will also be about the planned assistance to fruit growers.

The first frosts began to destroy the crop on the night of Thursday, April 18. Since then, they have lasted and have the character of strong all-night frosts. “The frost wave is not over yet. South Moravia is also at risk, where frost is expected on Friday night,” said Ludvík. According to him, the fundamental negative circumstance is that the vegetation is accelerated by almost four weeks compared to the usual state. The frost affected all fruit species, including the main type of apple trees.

In Europe, the frost affected orchardists in Poland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the north of France and the Benelux. “A major impact on the fruit market will be especially the outage in Poland, which is the largest producer of apples, cherries and currants in Europe,” Ludvík said.

In recent years, spring frosts have reduced the fruit harvest in the Czech Republic quite often. Fruit growers suffered frost damage especially in 2019, 2017, 2016 and 2011.

The May frosts in 2011 were particularly impressive, when 10,500 hectares of orchards were destroyed. The fruit harvest then fell to only 101,249 tons and was among the lowest harvests in the last 50 years.

Last year, the frosts significantly damaged plantings of apricots and peaches, the total fruit harvest last year amounted to a below-average 121,946 tons.

Fruit growers can try to protect orchards from frost by heating them with candles, burning wood chips and straw, using anti-freeze foggers, mixing the air with fans. They can do it in about five to ten percent of orchards.

However, if the frosts are severe and last for many days, as this year, defense is very difficult and so expensive that it lacks economic sense. For example, heating a one-hectare orchard by two degrees with paraffin candles for the whole night will cost about 50,000 crowns.

The article is in Czech

Tags: Bad news Czech Republic #frosts #damaged fruit #crop big

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