January 20, 2021

The field holds its breath in the face of the “serious damage” that Filomena will bring


Madrid

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From the technical services of Asaja They warn that it is still too early to make concrete estimates of damage until we can enter the plots, but a common fear runs through many farmers in Valencia, Castellón, Andalusia and areas of the center of the peninsula such as Cuenca or Ciudad Real: the frosts of the next days. “The post-Filomena will be almost worse than Filomena,” they point out from the majority agrarian organization. For its part, from Agroseguro They agree on concern about frost and fear that there will be damage to crops caused by them. They do not hesitate to talk that there will be “Serious damage” for the perfect combination between the snowfall and the subsequent crash of the thermometers. As for crops, citrus fruits (oranges, mandarins …) and some vegetables are also concerned.

Thus, the sources consulted suggest that the areas where the action of “Filomena” they are Castilla-La Mancha and the Mediterranean coast, as well as the autonomous communities of Aragon, Catalonia, Navarra and La Rioja.

Many unknowns surround crops such as vgo, the fruit trees or the almond trees; the strawberry campaign has already slowed down. And there is a lot of fear among some producers, such as olive growers, of what is under the white carpet that still covers the field: olive weight loss and, above all, frozen snow on the trees that will damage them for several seasons. Specific, 35% to 40% of the olive remains to be harvested and they point to the possibility of damage, especially in younger trees, in places like Cuenca, Toledo and Ciudad Real. They have also added to this list some of the highest areas of Jaén.

Citrus

Regarding citrus, the main pain is in transportation problems, especially in Andalusia. To which must also be added the fear of the consequences that the snow leaves on the citrus fruits that remain to be picked in provinces such as Valencia and Castellón, ravaged by heavy snowfall. And there is also great concern in the downtown area (Cuenca, Albacete, Toledo, Madrid …) with crops such as cereals or legumes, where Asaja estimates that there may be “significant damage”.

Vegetables

Another source of uncertainty is found in vegetables, especially in the Vega del Tajo (Community of Madrid), where there are already problems in the greenhouses due to the accumulation of snow. There is also another focus placed on Murcia and Almería, that before Filomena already suffered severe frosts at the beginning of the year. This time the main damage would be located in the artichoke, beans or zucchini. In addition to a slowdown in crops such as lettuce or cauliflower. In Almeria It has also had an impact on horticultural production, although the frosts at the beginning of the year had already affected some 250 hectares, mainly tomatoes and zucchini both in greenhouse and outdoors. On garlic, you can still wait for the snow to clear to see the damage.

Cattle raising

Regarding livestock, Asaja’s technical services highlight that the problem can occur in extensive livestock farming due to the accumulation of snow that prevents the supply of feed or other inputs in areas such as Cuenca mountain range or the highlands of Albacete. A problem that can be extended in the next few days to intensive livestock (pigs, hens, chickens …). In the same way, cases of ships very affected by the accumulation of snow are being declared. There are hardly any cases, in the higher altitude areas, of problems in the withdrawal of milk, they have pointed out from this agrarian organization.

In this sense, from Agroseguro they try to calm the Spanish countryside by explaining that all these events are covered by insurers, in case those affected have these coverage. Something common in agriculture and livestock given the recurrence of frosts these years, for example.

“Claims caused by snow and wind are covered by all agricultural insurance lines and, in the case of frost – an insurable option for farmers – damage to both crops and trees can be covered. In addition, the insurance also offers the possibility of insuring and protecting the facilities against the damages that strong storms can cause. Additionally, the damages suffered by livestock as a result of low temperatures (hypothermia) or due to the collapse of the facilities are also included within the agricultural insurance coverage ”, they explain in Agroseguro. The worst may be yet to come for the Spanish countryside.

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