According to a first emergency estimate carried out by the Association of Farmers of Valencia (AVA-ASAJA), yesterday's storm caused significant damage to crops and agricultural infrastructure in several regions of Castellón and Valencia, especially in the Plana Baixa, Vall d'Albaida, and Los Serranos.
“The torrential rain, hail, and strong gusts of wind in the province of Castellón caused damage to tangerine, orange, persimmon, and avocados crops. It bruised the fruits depreciating their commercial value. It also defoliated trees and even uprooted young plants. The water also damaged rural roads, walls, and other infrastructure. The most affected municipalities were Burriana, Betxí, Nules, and La Vilavella."
The representative of AVA-ASAJA Castellón, José Vicente Guinot, said: "After yesterday's intense storm, today we visited our fields and there is less damage than we thought there could be. It is clear that the hail and the violent wind, accompanied by water, caused damage in certain agricultural areas, but generally speaking, as we wait for the evolution of the citrus fruits, we can see that the storm was not as disastrous as we feared. Now we hope the rains will end and allow the soil to dry out so the citrus trees can maintain their plant health until harvest."
The most affected region in the province of Valencia was Vall d'Albaida, as the hail that fell there was the size of walnuts. The municipalities of Quatretonda, Llutxent, Benicolet, and La Pobla del Duc were the most affected. “AVA-ASAJA reports losses of up to 100% in persimmon orchards, different damages in vineyards, as well as damage to warehouses and infrastructure. However, it's still too early to assess the true extent of the damage that the storm caused on citrus fruits."
"In Los Serranos, the hail also fell with virulence in the municipality of Villar del Arzobispo, especially on the plots that are located near the urban center. The hail storm affected almond crops, vineyards, and olive groves."
AVA-ASAJA called on the administrations "to repair the agricultural infrastructures affected by the storm, as well as to implement fiscal measures aimed at alleviating the economic losses of farmers who have suffered damages on their farms."
“With the exception of flooded fields and damage to infrastructure, the rainfall has been positive for the rest of Valencian agriculture, as it has contributed to recharging reservoirs and aquifers, cleaning trees, helped producers save on irrigation, and improving pastures,” the organization stated.
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