Unseasonal rain in Argentina complicates grape harvest

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Unseasonal rain in Argentina complicates grape harvest

Heavy rain is damaging grape production in western Argentina, according to Diario de Cuyo of San Juan.

For table grapes, the rain is slowing the harvest, forcing growers to let bunches dry out before packing to try to avoid rotting. For wine grapes, fungus is beginning to form on the fruit, the website said.

“The problem now is not the water below but rather the water above, which is in the stock and already starting to show the first problems due to too much moisture,”  said Javier Ferrer, an official with the municipality of 25 de Mayo, according to the website.

As of Jan. 4, it had rained on seven of the last 13 days, which is unusual for the season, the website said, quoting INTA, Argentina’s agricultural development agency. Humidity has ranged from 26% to 92%, also unusual, the website said.

Enrique Ahún, manager of Patagonian Fruit Trade, is worried about the quality of fruit, some of which has been damaged by hail, the website said.

“We are evaluating what the impact will be … the grapes that are exported have to leave in perfect condition. Here there is overhydration of the plant, which undoubtedly is going to complicate things for us,” he is quoted as saying.

Photo: Diario de Cuyo

Source: www.freshfruitportal.com

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