Chile Blueberry harvest still on track after rain
Heavy rains on November 7-8 stopped Chile’s blueberry harvest for one day but will only reduce the export crop slightly in the south of the country, the Chilean Blueberry Committee said in a statement.
Citing data compiled by fruit market analyst iQonsulting, the statement said that week 45 saw little changes to the overall export forecast since the heavy rains were not followed by freezing temperatures or frosts. Overall costs would increase slightly, however, since more fungicide spraying is needed as a result of the precipitation.
The peak of the harvest is still expected for week 52, with export volumes increasing substantially as soon as week 47 and 48, when shipped volumes should reach 1000 KG and 2000 KG, respectively.
In the northern growing zones (Region IV and V) rains only affected harvest efforts in Region V, where Monday’s harvest was halted. The number of accumulated chilling hours has been lower than last year, thus this week’s harvest volume will also be lower than expected as a result.
In the growing regions of Region VI and the Metropolitan Region surrounding Santiago the harvest was projected to start on Monday. However rains delayed that until mid-week, thus lowering projected export volumes slightly. O´Neal and Duke varieties are expected to see their first harvest this week as temperatures reach regular levels.
Farther south in Regions VII-VIII Jewel, Star and O’Neal varieties are being harvested in Region VII, while O´Neal varieties in VII will likely see first harvest in two more weeks. Hail was registered near the city of Chillan, but the effects are localized and considered minimal. An evaluation is still underway.
In the southern growing regions of Region IX, X and XIV, some 20% of the blueberry crop is still in flower, and an estimated 5% of the crop was damaged as a result of last weekend rains.
Source: Chilean Blueberry Committee/ edited by www.freshfruitportal.com