|(foto: Pascual, diariodejerez)|
Thursday, 20 April 2017
20.4.17 Growers Worried about Weather
The vines are starting to flower and in the next four weeks or so the nascent grape bunches will appear, so it is still too early to worry about the Levante wind which has been blowing for some time. But with grape prices so low, the growers are worried about profitability as they are paid on weight. This wind from the east is hot and dry, and while it can stop mildew in its tracks, it can also accelerate ripening and reduce yields. Only yesterday the high winds tore down many trees in the province. The 2016 harvest was down around 17% on the average due to the persistent Levante, and many growers simply can’t afford another poor year.
Rainfall this year has been more normal than last year’s drought followed by torrential rain and the inevitable outbreak of mildew, and while there are now sufficient water reserves in the sub soil, growers still worry. It is hard to spray against mildew in high wind, so many haven’t done so. Only time will tell as the weeks leading up to the harvest determine quality and quantity. The growers are between a rock and a hard place with such low prices and potential crop-reducing weather, and many have given up.