Drought threatens Mexico's second largest apple producing state

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Drought threatens Mexico's second largest apple producing state

Mexico's apple production in the growing heartland of Coahuila is expected to be affected by the state's drought conditions, website Vanguardia.com.mx reported.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development and Fishing (SAGARPA) delegate Roberto Ruiz Silva, said apples generate US$360 million annually for producers in the Coahuila city of Arteaga.

"Some producers are intensifying the use of well water and are using this water for irrigation but obviously there are some areas where in the absence of water, the crops are being abandoned," he was quoted as saying.

He reported that 7,000 hectares are devoted to apples growing in Arteaga, of which half are at risk of suffering from drought effects.

Coahuila experienced drought conditions last year but managed to survive unscathed, however, this year Ruiz Silva warned that smaller yields were expected in the harvesting months of August and September.

Last year Coahuila produced 59,000 metric tons (MT) of apples and is currently Mexico's second highest producer after the state of Chihuahua.

Chihuahua has a yield of 16MT per hectare, while Coahuila has a yield of 15 MT.

Related stories: Mexican pomefruit production to rise, grapes to fall in 2011-12


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