Between 800 and 1,000 hectares of greenhouses were damaged in Almeria’s Poniente after heavy storms hit the growing region. Many greenhouses were destroyed and flooded, the worst affected areas were Adra and El Ejido, but the damaged area was also extended to some farms in other municipalities such as Berja.

“The crops are flooded by a 4-5 cm layer of water and the most affected product is the early pepper, although courgettes and aubergines have also been damaged,” explains Andrés Góngora, provincial secretary of COAG Almería.

“It occurred in the morning, while everybody was off for the public holiday,” says a grower, who is focused on removing the excess water from the greenhouses. Most of the greenhouses are flooded and it will take a few days for the growers to drain the pooled water," according to a local grower.

In many cases, as we noted, there were farms with crops still in the initial planting phase, along with plantations which had not yet been harvested. It is now a waiting game to see if the plants will survive, although the expectations are not positive and it is expected that growers will need to replant. The extent of damages are considerable.

"9,000 hectares of pepper were expected for this season, but it is likely that the storm will reduce peppers by 400h approximately, primarily the early varieties. There will be less peppers at the start of the season,” concludes Góngora.