The president of the Melon and Watermelon Inter-branch organization of Castile-La Mancha, Cristobal Jimenez, has made a call for moderation in the sowing now that the early plantations with thermal blankets, one of the most important moments of the campaign, is about to begin.
Jimenez advocated for adequate planning to avoid an excess of supply that would lead to a significant drop in prices and warned about the economic damage that this drop in prices would entail, especially in a year in which producers are dealing with high production costs.
Inputs have increased considerably when compared to last year; fertilizer prices have increased by 250%, energy prices by 300%, diesel prices by 250%, the plastics used for the thermal blanket and padding have increased by 45%, labor costs have gone up by 20%, and seedlings and seed prices have increased by 3 to 10%.
Thus, the cost of producing melon and watermelon has increased by 30% on average.
A decrease in surface area is expected in Castile-La Mancha
According to the interbranch organization, in 2021 there were more than 5,600 hectares of melon and 3,100 hectares of watermelon, which yielded about 215,000 tons of melon and 204,000 tons of watermelon.
The interbranch organization estimates that the area devoted to melon and watermelon in Castile-La Mancha will decrease by 5% and 20% this year, respectively. The organization also asked the sector to take into consideration that the campaign from Castile-La Mancha overlaps with the production from Almeria and Murcia during July and part of August.