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Some frost damages in Europe

12/04/2021 - Sophie Colvine - 2021 Season
Between 6 and 8 April, an exceptional wave of cold weather has hit western Europe, with low temperatures of up to -10°C recorded. This cold front was following a week of warm weather which means that vegetation and blossoms in many orchards (peaches, apricots, cherries, ...) and vineyards had started developing and were seriously managed, with losses of up to 100% reported on these crops in some areas in France.

Temperatures recorded at 6 am on Wednesday 6 April 2021

In the tomato growing areas in France and Italy temperatures went down to -5°C to -6°C during several hours on two consecutive nights. Fortunately, most of the fields had not yet been planted but some damages have been reported. 

In France, only about 60 hectares had already been planted and 20 of those have been frozen. These surfaces will probably be replanted with late season varieties. Strong northerly winds and fresh temperatures are expected this week both in the South East and the South West regions so transplanting operations are now halted until the end of the week or the beginning of the next.
In Italy, approximately 200 to 250  hectares could have been affected in the North (Piemonte, Lombardia and Emilia Romagna), and 500 to 700 hectares in Caserta in the South. Damages are however limited as planting had been halted for a few days before the weather front which had been anticipated by growers. The damages in Puglia (Foggia) are lower as transplanting normally starts later.

In Greece, it seems that about 400 hectares were hit by frost with temperatures down to -3 °C for relatively long times over two nights. Of those, about half (200 hectares) suffered serious or total damages while the rest will recover with a delay in development. For those hard hit, the farmers are looking to replant, provided there will be seedlings

No issues are reported in Spain as tomato transplanting is only due to start in about ten days in the Northern region of Navarra while the frost has not affected Extremadura where planting started in March.

The full extent of the damages in all countries and its impact, if any, on the crop forecasts are currently being investigated and will be reported when available. 





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