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Chile: Rains cut cherry export by 15%

Chile: Rains cut cherry export by 15%

Rains on Friday and Saturday in Chile’s cherry growing regions have caused serious damage to the production intended for export. Over the next few days, the losses will be more accurately estimated, as well as the possible impact on other fruits, which is expected to be very minor.

According to preliminary data, FEDEFRUTA expect 15% fewer cherries this season.

In the case of cherries, about 20% of the expected volume this season has been already been shipped; a volume that has been estimated at about 20 million 5 kilo boxes.

The President of the Association of Chilean Fruit Exporters AG (ASOEX), Ronald Bown said: “Preliminary data supplied by the Cherry Committee reveals that in those areas where rainfall has exceeded 20 mm, orchards will suffer losses of between 30% and 50%. In municipalities with rainfall between 10-20 mm, the extent of the damage will be lower.”

The greatest loss is observed in the region of Maule, where it is estimated that, at least, 25% of production can not be exported

Orchards in the Santiago area were the least affected as the harvest was coming to an end and only between 4 and 11 millimetres of rain fell.

However the situation becomes more serious as we move towards the south, for there the cherry harvest was in full swing.

In the O’Higgins Region, where 12 to 30 millimetres of rain fell in the fruit growing areas, it is expected that 20% of cherries for export were damaged. In the region of Maule, meanwhile, the producer / exporter and also director of the Federation, Antonio Walker Prieto says a loss of 25% to 40% due to rainfall in some areas of a much as 43 mm.

“The crop damage will be clearer after three days, so we are assessing the situation,” says Walker, chairman of Fruséptima. “What we can anticipate is that the loss is great.”

In the case of blueberries, export estimates for the current 2014-2015 campaign supplied by the Blueberry Committee are of 99,500 tonnes; an increase of 35%  on last season. So far, 4,500 tonnes have been exported, which represents 80% more than on the same date last year. This volume is in line with the Committee’s estimates for these first weeks of the season.

Executive Secretary of the Blueberry Committee, Andrés Armstrong, said: “The impact of the rains this weekend will delay the harvest by one or two days and will require the use of applications to prevent fruit decay, a customary procedure when such events take place during the harvest period.”

Meanwhile, the estimated impact on production volumes which may have affected some varieties is under evaluation and will be reported in the “Harvest and Export Report of the Blueberry Committee” this week.

Lastly, the president of ASOEX said: “This weather phenomenon has been a blow for us at the beginning of the season, but we hope to be able to meet our commitments in the shipment of fruit to all international markets.”

Publication date: 12/2/2014


FreshPlaza.com

California rains disrupt strawberry, vegetable harvests, but don’t end drought

The worst drought in a century in California was eased somewhat by several inches of rain across the state and considerable snow in some mountain areas from Wednesday, Feb. 26 through Sunday, March 2, but it was a mixed blessing in some growing areas, particularly for strawberries and vegetables along the central and southern coast.

“Rain is needed, but we don’t want to see damage,” Charlie Staka, director of sales for CBS Farms LLC in Watsonville, CA, told The Produce News March 3. “We got over three inches of rain in Oxnard Friday and Saturday. It has ended. We did sustain damage. We are culling 30 to 40 percent today, and we should be back to normal a here within three days.”

Of the first significant rain of the season, Staka said, “We always expect that rain, and you are always going to have so much culling after a rain. The problem now is if we are going to start getting rain, we are getting into heavier production, so we end up throwing more away” when it rains in March or April than when it rains in January or February.

The rain is needed, he said, but it is better if it comes in increments of a quarter or a half of an inch. “You don’t want it to come all at once.”

California Giant expected to be back harvesting strawberries in Oxnard Feb. 27 following 4.5 inches of rain in their fields, according to Cindy Jewell, marketing director for California Giant Berry Farms in Watsonville. The rain will not have any long-term negative effects, and “there is no rain forecast down there for the next 10 days,” she said March 3. “It is nice to get the rain. No one is going to complain.”

Santa Cruz Berry Farming Co. LLC in Watsonville saw about 2.5 inches in Santa Maria, according to Fritz Koontz, president. “We are not picking fresh. We are stripping for juice today. We can’t pick until probably the end of the week — Thursday or Friday [March 6-7].”

But “we need more” rain, Koontz said. With so little total rainfall so far this season, “you start running out of time.”

Deardorff Family Farms in Oxnard has experienced crop losses and harvesting disruptions from nearly 4.5 inches of rain from Wednesday night through Sunday morning, according to David Cook, a salesman with the company.

“It is mostly good in that we needed the water,” Cook said. It disrupts the harvest “a little bit,” but “markets have been so bad on just about everything that it didn’t really make a lot of difference. I can’t tell you what a drudge this has been since the first of the year” for Romaine, leaf, celery and most other vegetable crops except cabbage due to heavy production and markets that are “under snow.” Deardorff is having to strip “one round of berries” because of the rain, but “the berry market is just so-so,” he said.

“We are farming in both Oxnard and Orange County, and they caught up to five inches [of rain] in Oxnard,” said Matt Kawamura, managing partner of Orange County Produce LLC in Irvine, CA. “We have to strip [strawberries] there today and tomorrow [March 3-4]. We’ll be back in Wednesday or Thursday. But we haven’t picked since last Thursday, so it is a pretty long period of time.” In Orange County, “we are picking, but the numbers are way down.”

While the rain is needed, Kawamura said, “You have mixed emotions, for sure, but overall, we need the water.” If there is not more rainfall, “it is going to cause a quick end to the season for us.”

Bob Blakely, director of industry relations for California Citrus Mutual in Exeter, CA, told The Produce News that the rainfall has had no negative effects on California’s Navel harvest, as growers “brought fruit in ahead of the rain to pack for the next couple of days when it might be too wet” to get into the orchards.

There were beneficial effects, he said. “It probably saved an irrigation, and had only a positive effect on the crop.”

About 40 percent of “the remaining crop after the freeze” in early December was yet to be harvested, he said.

“We could have used a lot more rain, but we will take whatever we can get,” Blakely said. “It certainly did not mitigate the dire situation that we are in. We are still in an emergency situation” of “extreme drought.”

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Spain: Rains and hailstorms spoiled 400,000 Medina lettuce

Burgos
Spain: Rains and hailstorms spoiled 400,000 Medina lettuce

Rains in April and hailstorms in July reduced Burgos’ lettuce production, although the harvest will continue until late October.

The Horticultural Association Merindades is rating this fourth commercialisation campaign as average. In terms of prices, it is worth noting that they have been very variable throughout the summer, and as far as production goes, the rain in April delayed the planting by a month and July’s storms spoiled 400,000 heads of lettuce of the Medina quality brand.

However, there is evidence that the brand is starting to enter increasingly more demanding markets in terms of quality, certifications and traceability, and that the promotions carried out are gradually bringing in results.

Under the motto “Quality brand lettuce of Medina, the flavour of the Merindades”, the Horticultural Association Merindades aims to promote this product’s qualities throughout its sales territory, which is mainly central and northern Spain. Consequently, from 16 to 18 October the quality brand will be exhibited at Fruit Attraction, seeking a greater domestic projection.

Source: Interempresas.net

Publication date: 10/4/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Spain: Rains and hailstorms spoiled 400,000 Medina lettuce

Burgos
Spain: Rains and hailstorms spoiled 400,000 Medina lettuce

Rains in April and hailstorms in July reduced Burgos’ lettuce production, although the harvest will continue until late October.

The Horticultural Association Merindades is rating this fourth commercialisation campaign as average. In terms of prices, it is worth noting that they have been very variable throughout the summer, and as far as production goes, the rain in April delayed the planting by a month and July’s storms spoiled 400,000 heads of lettuce of the Medina quality brand.

However, there is evidence that the brand is starting to enter increasingly more demanding markets in terms of quality, certifications and traceability, and that the promotions carried out are gradually bringing in results.

Under the motto “Quality brand lettuce of Medina, the flavour of the Merindades”, the Horticultural Association Merindades aims to promote this product’s qualities throughout its sales territory, which is mainly central and northern Spain. Consequently, from 16 to 18 October the quality brand will be exhibited at Fruit Attraction, seeking a greater domestic projection.

Source: Interempresas.net

Publication date: 10/4/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Recent rains don’t diminish worries about water supplies

Monsoonal flows, which began in July, were well-received by Colorado residents and agricultural producers. But the rainfall was not enough to overcome extreme drought conditions and improve water supplies.

Craig Cotten, district engineer with the Colorado State Engineer’s office, provided The Produce News with a detailed snapshot of conditions experienced in the San Luis Valley this production season.

WaterOverviewWater running in the San Luis Valley is being blackened by ash as a result of the North Fork Fire, which had burned 110,000 acres by mid-August. (Photo courtesy of the Colorado State Engineer’s Office)“We had low spring runoff and flows,” he stated. “This was the fourth-lowest steamflow on record as the irrigation season began.” July rainfall changed hydro-dynamics somewhat. “It improved the situation to the point where it’s the 10th lowest year we’ve had in the last 120 years,” Cotten went on to say. “The rain did definitely help. But we’re not having a good year. [Agricultural producers] are glad to see the rain. But there’s a realization it’s not enough to change things.”

According to Cotten, water use at a “fair amount” of wells is decreasing in the valley. “Some wells are going dry,” he added, explaining that this means that wells that have traditionally pumped at 1,000 gallons per minute are now pumping at a rate of 200 gallons per minute.

Some producers have gone to Colorado Water Court seeking permission to deepen their wells. He illustrated by some owners who have wells drilled to a depth of 60 feet are seeking to increase that depth to 80 to 100 feet.

“Some objections have been filed [in Water Court],” Cotten said. Objectors contend that deepening of wells will worsen the overall situation in the valley. Requests for deepening of wells are dealt with in the same manner as other cases in Water Court. “These are multi-year cases. In the meantime, these farmers in are limbo.”

Prior to the July rainfall, ditches were running at 300 cubic feet per second. Immediately following rainfall, they flowed at 1,000 cfs. “They are at 600 cfs right now,” Cotten said in mid-August.

Ag producers are also being hit with the after-effects of the devastating North Fork Fire. “Water coming into the ditches is pretty black,” said Cotten about the ash content. The fire, which was still burning in mid-August, had already consumed 110,000 acres.

On other fronts, creation of the first groundwater management subdistrict in the Rio Grande Water Conservation District is moving into its final stages. Despite arguments from objectors, this past spring Chief Judge Pattie Smith ruled in favor of the sufficiency of the subdistrict’s management plan. Objections to the ruling have been filed with the Colorado Supreme Court.

Cotten said the case has not yet been scheduled for oral arguments, and he expects the court will issue its ruling in 2014. He said objections only affect a few provisions of the overall management plan..

The State Engineer’s office continues to work on a computer model which will determine the extent of injury to the valley’s aquifer. “We’ve been working on that model for quite a while,” he stated, adding that he expects it will be completed this fall.

After the model is finalized, the State Engineer’s office will move forward with rule-making. A 55-member advisory committee, which has been working for the past three to four years, continues to provide its input. “The rules are 90 percent developed,” Cotten said. “The remaining 10 percent is the most important and is based on the model.”

Cotten said the National Resource and Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is working on the Conservation and Reserve Enhancement Program with a goal of taking 40,000 acres out of agricultural production within Subdistrict 1. “On average, approximately 100,000 acre feet of water could be saved,” Cotten stated. “There is a possibility we could get other acreage in [as new groundwater management subdistricts are formed].”

The Colorado CREP program is offering the highest amount of reimbursement per acre in the United States. But commodity pricing makes agricultural producers reluctant to participate, Cotten said. “The subdistrict sees this as a primary way to bring the aquifer back up,” Cotten stated. As a result, the subdistrict is also offering additional incentives for producers who sign up by Oct. 1.

Land fallowed under the program is taken out of production for a minimum of 15 years. The fallowing can become permanent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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