Heavy rains in the northeastern Argentine province of Misiones may have lost up to 50% of their crop taking into account harvest delays and declines in quality as a result, an industry representative told newspaper El Diario de Misiones.
To the rest of the world the province is most known for its famous Iguazú Falls, but in citrus circles it is known as a minor player in mandarin exports and also has the misfortune of being the only Argentine region to have recorded citrus greening disease; a problem that has prompted intense monitoring and strict measures since the first detection in 2012.
Misiones Citrus Growers’ Association representative Carlos Satur told the newspaper growers “could only watch” as their losses increased during the rains, without the possibility of harvesting good fruit for export.
“With so much rain you can’t pick and the fruit falls because it’s already past its ripening stage. The objective of a grower is to get quality citrus for export because that has a better economic yield,” Satur told the publication.
“The situation is also complicated by the roads for taking the harvest, so there are varieties that are practically lost because the citrus grower prepared to pick quality fruit and that is not happening,” he was quoted as saying, adding Nadorcott was the variety most affected.
With 2,966 hectares planted according to 2016 statistics from national grower association Federcitrus, Misiones accounts for 10% of the planted area for Argentine mandarins, dwarfed by Entre Rios (15,344ha) and Corrientes (8,481ha).
In terms of volume, the province produced 6.6% of Argentina’s mandarins last year with 30,701 metric tons (MT).