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Spain: Extremadura closes tomato campaign with more kilos than initially contracted

Extremadura has closed the industrial tomato campaign with a final production totalling almost 2.1 million tonnes, which very slightly surpasses the number of kilos initially contracted. To be precise, Extremadura's producers have delivered a total of 2,081,320,404 kilos to the different industries, compared to the 2,059,783,222 kilos originally contracted, according to data published by Cooperativas Agroalimentarias de Extremadura and the Tomato Board.

The average yield has amounted to 88,268 kilos per hectare, in a region where a total of 23,579,49 hectares are devoted to tomato cultivation. Most of this production, almost 60 percent, corresponds to cooperatives in the region, namely 1,201,891,991 kilos.

Sources within the sector have explained to AgroExtremadura that the exceptional performance of late plantations, which have done better than average in terms of both quantity and quality, has offset the losses caused by heatwaves in early summer, which took a negative toll on the fruit setting in the early plantations.

The president of the fruit and vegetables department of Cooperativas Agroalimentarias de Extremadura, Domingo Fernandez, did not hesitate to assure that "late tomatoes have compensated for the losses recorded by early tomatoes."

"The campaign has closed better than expected. It has been a normal campaign; all contracts have been fulfilled and average production levels have been reached. The final result, compared to what we had at the beginning of the season, with the heat and losses of early tomatoes, has been more than satisfactory for the producers, who have salvaged a year that appeared to be very problematic," highlighted Fernández in a statement to AgroExtremadura.

The fact is that, while the high temperatures severely hit the crop in the first part of the summer, the mild temperatures and absence of rainfall recorded in August and the crop's performance in the final stages of the campaign have been key to ensure that the final balance was not as negative as anticipated.

However, it is clear that there will still be producers who have not had a good campaign and suffered losses due to the heat. Especially considering that early plantations have traditionally been more attractive than the late plantations, because of the higher risk that the latter have of being affected by rainfall at the time of harvesting.

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