Argentina: new cold front expected on Jul. 20 -

Argentina: new cold front expected on Jul. 20

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Argentina: new cold front expected on Jul. 20

The Argentinean Blueberry Committee is preparing for a new cold front in the province of Tucuman on Jul. 20, with frosts of varying intensity expected in eastern zones.

The committee said the previous frost had only caused minor damage to crops due to the phenological stage of development.

"However due to the low temperature recorded in spite of the frost control, damage was detected in some farms plots with water control to a lesser degree," the committee said in a release.

"On farms where frost was not controlled fruit damage was complete, although this volume is not even 1% of the estimated total."

The committee said the frosts in recent weeks were of a remarkable intensity that had not been seen in decades, and had continued uninterrupted until now.

"What was extraordinary about these frosts was the continuity of their daily repetitions of low temperatures with a long duration in some areas where they reached values between -2°C (28.4°F) and -6°C (21.2°F).

The next cold wave is expected to go from Jul. 20 to early August.

A National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) representative said if 2011 continued to be colder than 2010 during the ripening period, harvesting dates might need to be postponed.

Daniel Kirschbaum from INTA Famaillá said the total damage in blueberry crops was seen in flowers and partially in the fruit itself, with an estimated loss of 200g of fruit per plant.


The committee said lemon crops had registered damages of between 20% and 60% depending on the area.

"Lemons exposed on the outside of the plant were more damaged compared to lemons that were embedded in the plant and covered with foliage.

"In any case it is calculated there will be between 150,000 metric tons (MT) and 180,000MT less lemons as a result of the frosts."


The committee said next year's sugarcane planting could be in danger due to problems with seed lots.

Related stories: Argentina's export blueberries unaffected by frost

Export harvest halt for Argentine lemons

Photos: Apratuc

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