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Freezing temperatures impact fruits

Some winemakers say they have lost this year's whole harvest due to spring freezes.

Illustrative stock photo(Source: TASR)

Fruit growers, farmers and gardeners have already started counting the damages to their harvest after Slovakia was stricken by strong frost in the past few weeks. The damages may account to some 50 percent, though in some areas the freezing temperatures harmed the whole harvest, the Slovak Agriculture and Food Chamber (SPPK) informed in a press release.

While the fruit growers who protected their crops against frost may report damages at 50 percent, those who did not do so could report damages at 80 percent and more, expects Marián Varga, chair of the Union of Fruit Growers.

The freezes damaged the harvest of strawberries, sugar beets, rapeseed oil, sunflowers and fruit trees, according to SPPK. The fruits impacted by frost may be of lower quality, which may result in lower prices in shops, Varga told the Sme daily.

Also winegrowers in southern Slovakia report big damages, with the smaller ones saying that their whole harvest has been harmed, said chair of the Association of Grape and Wine Producers Jarmila Kaňuchová-Pátková. The damages across Slovakia may be as high as 40 percent.

“This assessment however does not contain the loss caused by the freezing during the night between April 25 and 26, which will be clear only after a few days,” Kaňuchová-Pátková told Sme. “The final damages may be even more catastrophic.”

The Tokaj region and eastern Slovakia have not reported damages as the frost there was not so strong, Sme wrote.

Meteorologists meanwhile warned that also some coming nights may be freezing, though the frost will not be so strong. 

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