Heatwave could affect Chilean fruit crops

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Heatwave could affect Chilean fruit crops

A heatwave roasting the central-northern regions of Chile this week could negatively affect fruits that are currently being harvested or that will soon enter into season.

Temperatures of up to around 36ºC are forecast for multiple days this week for the Coquimbo, Valparaiso and Metropolitan regions.

Sara Alvear, an agronomic engineer at the Agricultural Meteorological Service, said this could put stress on the plans and trees, affecting fruit grown or development, or it could lead to marks and blemishes on the fruits' exterior.

Fruits that could be affected include cherries and stonefruit - which are now in the middle of their season - as well as apples, which will start to be harvested in a few weeks' time.

For cherries, Alvear said the high temperatures could lead to splitting, while for apples they could lead to dehydration and potentially severe consequences during post-harvest.

He added that such high temperatures also lead to a rapid rate of evapotranspiration, which brings the roots' ability to absorb water to their limits. 


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