The first estimates of the Agrarian Association of Young Farmers (Asaja) of Castile-La Mancha point to the damage caused by frost in the region, thought to have affected between 70 and 80 percent of the almond crops, mainly in the provinces of Albacete and Cuenca. However, as reported by the organization in a statement, Asaja technicians will not be able to accurately evaluate the impact of the weather on farms for at least 15 days.
Both the earliest almond varieties traditionally grown in the county of La Manchuela, in Cuenca, namely the Desmayo, Largueta and Marcona, as well as the later ones, such as the Vairo, Lauranne, Constanti, Marinada or Guara, have been affected by the cold wave of recent days. The former had already finished the flowering and have suffered damage of up to 100% in municipalities like Minglianilla, Villapardo, Villarta or El Herrumblar, among others.
As for the later varieties, most of the more recent plantations were in the setting stage and over 70 to 80 percent of the production has been damaged. According to Asaja, only the production from trees that have bloomed after the frosts will be saved. In the province of Albacete the cold has also “caused huge damage to almond farms.”
In the central and bordering areas, the damages have reached up to 100%, while in the southeast of the province, in municipalities like Hellín and Tobarra, the extent of the damage varies depending on the place, with some plantations being almost completely damaged, while others have barely been harmed.
No significant damage in Toledo and Ciudad Real
The temperatures recorded in Toledo and Ciudad Real have not been low enough to cause significant damage on almond farms, although they have taken a toll on vineyards. In any case, “it will be necessary to wait for a few days for the technicians to follow up on the development of the plants and thus quantify the losses,” they say.
Lastly, Guadalajara is the province that has recorded the least damage to crops by frost. Only green asparagus is at the start of its season; a bit earlier than in previous years. In some areas the crops have not even sprouted yet. “The low temperatures bring the product’s production to a halt, but without serious consequences for the crop,” they conclude.