Uruguay drought leads to smaller citrus fruits - FreshFruitPortal.com

Uruguay drought leads to smaller citrus fruits

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Uruguay drought leads to smaller citrus fruits

Uruguay’s citrus fruits will likely be smaller this season due to drought but the country’s National Agricultural Investigation Institute (INIA) says they will taste better, reported local newspaper La Republica.

INIA technicians Carmen Goñi and Alvaro Otero have evaluated the situation and found that only 50% of the country’s northern citrus farms were irrigated, according to the story.

Otero told La Republica that citrus harvests are multi-perennial, which means the drought affects harvests in the year it happens and the following year. He divided citrus cultivation into three periods - flowering and fruit formation until December, fruit growth for the rest of summer, followed by continued growth and maturation in autumn and winter.

“Until December there were good rains, so fruit formation has been good; the dry is affecting the time of growth, so the first thing you realize is that fruit size can be affected,” he was quoted as saying.

Otero told the newspaper that the lack of water has led to the wilting and drying of leaves on citrus plants, but the upside is that farmers end up with more solid and tastier fruits that also have fewer sanitation problems.

He said the situation was complicated for early citrus varieties but late-growers could have compensatory fruit growth if rains commence as normal in March, the story reported.

Goñi could not give any ‘unique’ recommendations but she emphasized that farmers with irrigated land must be very careful with water by checking their filters and drip systems, according to La Republica.

Source: www.freshfruitportal.com

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