Spain: Hailstorms hammer Valencian vineyards, almond orchards

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Spain: Hailstorms hammer Valencian vineyards, almond orchards

Just months after torrential rains struck the Valencian orange and persimmon sector, growers from the community's region of Utiel-Requena are now grappling with the effects of hailstorms that hit farms on Tuesday.

In a release, the Valencian Farmers Association (AVA-ASAJA) said damages had been recorded on 10,000 hectares of vineyards, almond orchards and wheat fields in the area.

The group estimates total damages of €11 million (US$11.8 million) from the event.

The most affected zones are Campo Arcís, Los Duques, Las Casas, Los Corrales, Los Pontones and Caudete de las Fuentes.

In some vineyards up to 80% of the harvest has been lost in some areas. AVA-ASAJA said at the moment the first buds of the vines were sprouting, and the losses of these buds would impact the future harvest as the so-called "secondary cones" for the second phase of sprouting would produce a much lower amount of grapes.

Of the 10,000 hectares affected, around 9,000 relate to vineyards, implying a cost of about €10.8 million (US$11.6 million).

In terms of almonds, the hail brought down some fruits that were in the period of fruit set to the ground.


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