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Agriculture: Early fruit blossom could reduce apple harvest

Agriculture: Early fruit blossom could reduce apple harvest

After the warm winter months, the fruit trees bloomed much earlier this year. Then it got cold, so apple farmers’ yields could be lower. What does this mean for consumers?

The early fruit blossom in the Altes Land could reduce the yield this year. “The weather has left its mark all over Europe,” said Matthias Görgens, deputy head of the Jork Fruit Growing Experimental Station, which is part of the Lower Saxony Chamber of Agriculture. “That was the earliest bloom we ever had.” The warm winter months would have pushed forward the flowering dates for apples, plums, cherries and pears.

According to the municipality of Jork, the Altes Land is, with 550 businesses and 10,000 hectares of land between Cuxhaven and Hamburg, the largest contiguous fruit-growing area in Germany.

The cold phase in April took its toll on many trees; in the Altes Land the irrigation systems were used for three to five nights and the frost protected the flowers, it was said. Apples, pears and cherries can be protected this way.

But this modern technology is not available in all growing areas: “Some regions in Saxony and Thuringia were hit,” said Görgens. For the plant, the cold means stress at night and during the day. We don’t yet know exactly how the harvest will develop. “But it probably won’t be a full harvest and prices could be a little higher,” says the expert.

Source: Stern

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