With about 80% of the fruit harvest destroyed in parts of Austria, the words ‘complete catastrophe’ have been used.
In several European countries – such as Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Germany, Slovenia, France and Belgium – apples, pears, cherries and grapes were frozen early last week.
Excerpts from a summary by NFO, the Dutch fruit growers association:
In the state of Styria the words ‘complete catastrophe’ have been used. About 80 per cent of the fruit harvest destroyed … €100 million Euro in damages for the fruit sector (without grapes) alone.
Councillor Hans Seitinger: “This is truly a unique situation, which has not occurred in the last 50 years.”
In the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, 27 April approximately 10 centimetres of snow fell in south Germany. Roofing specialist Voen made photos of cherry plantation under a net, which remained standing safely under a thick layer of snow.
Switzerland also shows a very white image. In the region Graubunden in eastern Switzerland, which cultivates a lot of grapes, multiple braziers were used. The region also employed a helicopter to mix the different layers of air.
In Belgium, as in the Netherlands, it is mostly corn snow that is a nuisance to fruit cultivators. Night frost is not ruled out in Belgium for the coming nights.
Reports of frost damage, particularly from the north on the border with Hungary and Slovenia.
Slovenia also reports damages. Temperatures … went to 4 degrees below freezing. Most damage is currently with nuts and stonefruits in eastern Slovenia, and are already called catastrophic. Apple and pear cultivation also hit. Low-lying areas are 60 to 70 per cent frozen over.
Temperatures bothered fruit cultivators, and grape cultivators in particular … rain and snow in Burgundy (north eastern France) caused many problems for the young vines … there are now talks of the sharpest frost since 1981.
3 May 2016 – Enormous snow and frost damage
The affected farms will get help.
“We will not let the farmers down,” states the Federal Minister of Agriculture Andrä Rupprechter.
“The extreme weather of the last few days has led to damages threatening the very existence of farmers in certain regions,” said Rupprechter. “Therefore the Federal Ministry of Finance will cover the incurred losses with the Natural Disaster Fund in coordination with the affected states.”
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