Half of stonefruit in Argentina province damaged in windstorm
Wind gusts of more than 53 miles per hour on Nov. 7 devastated the stonefruit sector in Argentina’s San Juan region, with more than 50% of apricots, plums and peaches damaged, according to local news website Diario de Cuyo.
“It was a disaster, what the wind did,” Mario Coralli, of the Chamber of Fruit and Vegetables, is quoted as saying. He said 50% or more of the big fruit was lost. Small peaches throughout the region fell from the trees, he added. Fruit that remained on the trees was bruised or split.
Some growers were evaluating whether it they could gather fruit from the ground, but that would involve hiring people to pick fruit that is approaching maturation to sell to make candy.
“Last week there was harvesting, and now with this strong wind, we are going to have to see if we put these apricots for candy,” Matías Gómez, of Nueva Georgia SA, is quoted as saying.
About 2,100 hectares have plums, apricots and peaches in San Juan province, in northwest Argentina, according to data from the Institute of Economic Research and Statistics.
Grape and olive growers suffered much less damage. The change in temperature – from 108 degrees Fahrenheit to 66 degrees in seven hours – will delay maturation in the grapes, according to the website. Olive trees deal with wind better, and there was minor damage, said Daniel Dates, of the olive industry chamber in the province, according to the website.