Mexico: Frosts a blessing and a curse for growers in Sonora, Sinaloa
Frosts witnessed in parts of Mexico last week have damaged more than 18,000 hectares of agricultural land in the states of Sinaloa and Sonora, but the cold weather has not been bad news for all growers.
Sonora Spring Grapes director Juan Alberto Laborin told www.freshfruitportal.com there were significant damages in the region for zucchini, corn and potatoes, as well as for the earliest Picoso chile peppers.
But for the table grape sector the event couldn't have come at a better time.
"Right now we have a 25% advance in pruning, so with all this cold weather and forecasts for rain today or tomorrow, that benefits grapes which start to blossom and become green at the end of January.
"It's very positive. Accumulating cold hours is fundamental for us, and we have accumulated more than double the cold hours of last year, which is very good for fruit quality, for production, for the fruit set...it's pure medicine."
The executive added pecan nut growers could also benefit from the conditions.
"They also require an important amount of cold hours. For that crop it's beneficial, both in cold hours and the possibility of rain, because it loosens the bud.
The Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) reported preliminary surveys had shown beans, potatoes and vegetables were the most affected crops.
In terms of other states, preliminary reports have not shown effects on the agricultural sector in the states of Chihuahua, Durango and Baja California, but assessments continue.