Heavy Rains in Europe Threaten Vegetable Yields
Adverse weather conditions for growers in Europe have processors of frozen, canned and dehydrated vegetables in major producing countries very concerned about this year’s spring and summer crops, the Brussels-headquartered European Association of Fruit and Vegetable Processing Industries (PROFEL) reported on June 15.
Northern Europe has been impacted by heavy rains and severe flooding in important production areas for vegetables in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and parts of Germany.
Belgian producers have already reported damage that cannot be restored. Around one-third of the production of spring spinach and summer cauliflower has been lost due to the wet weather. In France the spinach crop, the delayed harvest of peas and the seeding of beans have been particularly impacted. In northwestern Germany 20% of the area where leafy vegetables (such as spinach) and herbs are grown was damaged so severely by heavy rain that a harvest has become impossible.
The heavy rains, in combination with low temperatures and humid conditions, means that fungal-diseases threaten surviving vegetable crops. Application of plant protection treatments cannot be carried out in the affected areas because of wet soil conditions preventing access to the fields.
Due to the irregular and unpredictable precipitation it is too premature to predict the overall losses of summer vegetable crops, but given the current meteorological conditions and the weather forecast for the coming period, PROFEL analysts believe the impact could be profound.
Meanwhile, Lummen-headquartered Dirafrost Belgium reports that heavy rain and even snow in some area of Serbia from mid-April to mid-May damaged raspberry plants and broke branches in the upper hills. Low temperatures together with rain prevented normal growth, and thus the estimated harvest per planted area will likely be less. However, the potential crop volume is expected to match 2015 levels thanks to an increase in cultivation spurred by attractive prices in recent years.