France: winemakers and gardeners tally losses from April frosts

Frosty nights in April caused serious damage to vineyards and orchards in France, euronews reported. The harvest of cherries and pears has been lost, only some varieties of apple trees, perhaps, will be able to recover from the weather aggression.

The unseasonably warm weather encouraged the premature opening of buds on fruit trees, but there were sudden frosts on Monday night. In some parts of the country, the thermometer dropped below -6.5 ° C for several nights. Experts believe that the damage caused to flowering orchards and vineyards is quite capable of becoming the largest in recent decades.

You will have to wait at least 3 weeks until you can assess the degree of losses – there is a small, almost ghostly hope that some varieties of apples will still bear fruit. In prestigious wine regions, a significant portion of the harvest is lost. In Burgundy, for example, chardonnay varieties suffered the most, and pinot noir a little less.

The French government is hastily preparing an emergency package to help deal with the damage. Julien Denormandy, Minister of Agriculture, says following his visit to the affected farms:

We need to mobilize all forces to provide support as soon as possible to wine growers, gardeners and farmers affected by the sudden frost. Full mobilization is, first of all, the mobilization of the state. We have launched an agricultural disaster management program that provides financial support, particularly in the horticulture sector.

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