Intense hailstorm hits Valencia, affecting 11 000 ha (27 200 acres) of crops, damage up to 47 million Euros, Spain

An intense storm that hit Spain’s Valencia on Sunday, June 30, 2018, caused ‘extremely serious damage’ to crops in the region, with up to 11 000 ha (27 200 acres) of crops affected.

The storm caused ‘extremely serious damage’ in the La Ribera area of Valencia and many farmers lost their entire crop, Valencia farming association, AVA-ASAJA said. 

According to the first estimate made by the association, the agricultural area affected by the storm exceeds 11 000 hectares (27 200 acres), with economic losses of up to €47 million (US$58 million).

Persimmons are the worst affected. Some 3 500 ha (8 650 acres) were affected, many of which had 100% losses, AVA-ASAJA said.

The organization estimated this would translate into a 15% drop in production on the next crop, which, added to the 10% reduction the industry was already expecting due to frosts in February and March, will lead to Valencia’s persimmon production dropping by a quarter.

Around 7 000 ha (17 300 acres) of mandarins and oranges were also affected, with the level of damage from 20% to 100% in extreme cases. However, the fruit was still small at the moment and so time was needed to evaluate the true extent of the damage.

Image credit: AVA-ASAJA

An initial visit to farms, technicians noted there was damage on the skin of the fruit, a large amount of leaves and fruit on the ground, blows to the wood of the trees and even some trees that had been toppled due to the strong winds.

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In addition to citrus and persimmons, some 350 ha (865 acres) of vegetable production was affected, along with 100 ha (247 acres) of other fruit crops, mainly melon, watermelon, tomatoes, and avocados.

Photos provided by AVA-ASAJA.

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