The Secretary of Agriculture of the Union of Small Farmers (UPA), Antonio Moreno, estimated that the repeated frosts of the last days in large cultivation areas of the Region of Murcia, where the thermometers have fallen to negative values, had affected more than 40% of the flowering of the extra-early fruit in this region. In some municipalities of the largest area of stone fruit production in the region, Cieza, in the Vega Alta and in the vicinity of Calasparra, temperatures fell to almost -4 degrees, while in areas of the Altiplano and the Northwest, they reached -6 and -7 degrees.
According to Moreno, the frosts would have affected the extra-early peach and nectarine varieties the most, as well as some apricots and donut peach varieties.
So far, farmers have not resorted to burning paraffin, producing artificial micro-rain, or using wind turbines. "Since the price of paraffin has increased so much, it costs at least 3,000 or 4,000 euro to burn it each morning in a large farm, which is just not economically viable for producers, so they have decided to take the risk of not burning it," stated Antonio Moreno.
However, he said, if the current temperature forecast for the Vega Alta for next weekend holds, we'll have no choice but to do everything we can to combat what has become usual at this time of year.
“If we want to compete in Europe and bring our products before anyone else, we cannot give up on continuing to bet on these extra-early varieties.”