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floods, hail and bad weather affect fruits and vegetables

After the strong hailstorm recorded on Sunday May 12 in the Italian regions Basilicata and Apulia, new ‘water bombs’ mixed with hail affected the same areas. The situation is worrying for stone fruit, watermelon and table grapes. It was a very wet awakening, Monday May 13, in the provinces of Forlì-Cesena and Ravenna (Emilia Romagna). The plentiful rains have swollen all the rivers and some have overflowed. The most difficult situation is in the territory of Cesena with flooded orchards and closed bridges and roads.

“The damages on peaches, apricots, nectarines and some goji plants are enormous, with damaged fields and fruits that will rot in a few days. We had just finished with the thinning of the apricots and waited for them to be completely ripe to proceed with the harvest”, says Anna Camarda, a farmer from Basilicata who has her crops in Metaponto. “The varieties of apricots affected are Vitillo and Thirintos (early apricot), while for peaches it is Sagittaria. The citrus orchards in bloom are also affected.”

According to some sources, it is estimated that over 70% of Basilicata stone fruit has been lost. Alarming percentages, considering that the agricultural sector is the cornerstone for the economy of this region.

“Whole stone fruit fields have been destroyed. The watermelon seedlings planted a few weeks ago have been broken by hail,” says Francesco Musillo, director of Agorà PO, who adds: “Even on the covered vineyards,…

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