In different areas in Spain and Italy, where the majority of the European courgettes are grown, the ToLCNDV virus is still present – despite the measures so far. This virus not only influences the production, but also the price of courgettes: it is expected that the prices will stay at this level for some time. Next to this problem, the warm weather in Europe did have a significant impact on the supply and demand of the courgettes.
Difficult to eradicate
The ToLCNDV virus was first found last summer. Already in October the Ministry of Agriculture announced that the virus was widely dispersed amongst the courgettes, largely due to the Bemisia whitefly. Because Bemisia was controlled with chemicals, it became resistant to nearly all chemical pest controls. The solution of this problem should be sought in prevention and biological control. All infected greenhouses should be sealed to build a good population of natural enemies.
Despite these difficulties, in Spain and Italy the acreage of courgettes under glass in the Benelux is relatively stable. Last season the prices were higher, mainly because of the shortages in Europe.