Chilean cherries, grapes, peaches and plums suffer light damage from heavy rains
Heavy rain in central Chile Nov. 7 caused slight damage to cherries, table grapes, apricots and plums, resulting in slightly lower export estimates, according to analysis by fruit consultancy iQonsulting.
Cherries exports are now expected to reach 50,081 metric tons, down 6.6% from estimates published Sept. 30, 2010. Grape shipments are expected to reach 869,772 MT, down 2.7% from early forecasts. Plum exports are expected to be 93, 539MT, down 2% from September estimates. Exports of apricots are expected to reach 2,592 MT, also down 2% from earlier estimates.
Rain totals varied through the region, from 0.08 inches (2 mm) to 1.5 inches (38mm). Cherries suffered the most damage, particularly early varieties such as Brooks, Royal Dawn and Rita, which were in harvest, or close to it, the iQonsulting report said. Early varieties represent 20% of the country’s production.
Mid-season and late varieties did not suffer damage from the rain. There has been major work with the roofs under which they were protected, which will mean very slight wind damage, the report said.
Table grapes were either losing their flowers or flowering, especially Thomson Seedless, Superior, Perlon and Flame. That will mean only additional application of fungicide. The damage estimate is based on wind and mechanical damage in some areas where there was hail. Still, a slight reduction in plums and apricots is expected, the report said.