The first frosts of the winter have taken a toll on crops in the Spanish county of Guadalentín. Products such as artichokes, lettuce and broccoli have been affected by the temperature drop, raising concerns amongst growers in the municipalities of Alhama de Murcia, Lorca, Totana and Librilla.
The Councilor of Agriculture in Murcia, Miguel Ángel del Amor, has confirmed that the frost has hit some 300 hectares of vegetables, especially in the Lorca region. Del Amor also recalled that the temperature is expected to fall to about 4 degrees below zero in the night between Thursday and Friday, and that this "could have a big impact on horticultural crops." Fruit trees currently in the dormant stage are not expected to suffer damages, according to the Councilor.
José Manuel Ruiz, representative of the agricultural organization Coag Alhama, said that in the case of artichokes, the frost will negatively affect about 20% of the harvest. Growers are said to have lost the production of the coming 15 days.
In this region, lettuce has suffered damages in the first three layers, resulting in smaller sizes. The price has also dropped and currently stands at around 20 cents per piece. "The frozen parts are removed, so the product becomes smaller, which results in a lower price," says Coag. Ruiz stated that "the price of lettuce will continue to rise in the coming days, before there is more frost."
Growers in Guadalentín are also concerned about the possible consequences of this cold wave for nectarines, paraguayos or peaches.
Source: laverdad.es with information from A.Gómez, A. Alonso, L. Tomás and J. F. Robles.