Frosts to trigger Chilean crop conversion

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Frosts to trigger Chilean crop conversion

Chile's Citrus Committee is calling on growers to assess their situations in the wake of frosts, to decide whether to invest in damage mitigation or change crops entirely. 

The committee's president Juan Enrique Ortúzar told the industry will need to make these tough decisions very soon.

"Depending on the intensity of the frosts, there are producers that will have to think about converting or opting for crops that will be more resistant to frosts," he says.

"Every time there is a frost many jobs are lost. There is a whole chain that is stopped when the fruit can't be exported.

"Areas that should be converted are in those zones where low temperatures are registered for many hours, and if that's consistent with data from previous frost periods then conversion could be the best alternative."

For this reason the committee has led seminars recently to address the problem with growers.

"We cannot sit here quietly taking damage containment measures after the frost. For the long term we have to aim that every incidence of frost will affect a lower percentage of production," says Ortúzar.

Ortúzar recommends producers collect and assess information very carefully before making these types of decisions.

The committee is engaged in several schemes aiming to bolster Chile's competitiveness and quality in the citrus industry, as well as anticipating seasons. It is also developing a parallel ripening program and working on the opening of new markets like China and Brazil.

Photo: Infoagro

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