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Warm nights playing havoc with strawberry cultivation

In the Netherlands, the weather has remained unusually warm for a long time. Good for strawberry consumption, you might say, because who doesn't crave them in the summer? But for growers, the high temperatures prove challenging. Westlandse Aardbei's Sandra Huysman explains the situation on LinkedIn.

"Strawberries don't like warm, too warm weather, especially not Elsantas. It's okay during the day, but hot nights, like those we've had in the last few weeks, are disastrous. Strawberries thrive on sunny days and cool nights, preferably around 8°C. At night, they grow and swell, becoming firm and nice and sweet. Those 8°C nights have been 17, 18, sometimes as high as 19°C. That's resulted in softer, smaller, and less sweet strawberries," Sandra writes.

Nothing can be done about the warm nights. The growers e-mailed their customers and put notices on their vending machines. "Not a fun thing to do, but it's better to be upfront and explain what's happening. Sales, obviously, stagnate, but explaining could lead to understanding. That's what we're hoping."

The nights are cooler now. "It's gone so fast these last few weeks that we're three to four weeks ahead of schedule. We'll finish harvesting earlier, and we won't get the kilos we want this season," Sandra explains.

You can read the whole post here, with its message to the government: "There are already many challenges, like energy transition, labor, water, and yes, the environment. We certainly want to change, but that takes - sometimes a long - time and money. I know you think that's part of entrepreneurship. That's true. But you also get the opportunity and have the amenities. You can't do everything at once; you must grow towards that. I hope that's something that will be considered, though; sometimes I honestly doubt that."

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