Agriculture: Strawberry farmers in lots of locations worry much more rain | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

After the heavy rains, particularly in western Germany, strawberry farmers are hoping for a change within the climate. “Due to the mild winter, many of the early varieties are already outdoors,” stated Simon Schumacher from the Association of South German Asparagus and Strawberry Growers (VSSE) in Bruchsal close to Karlsruhe. If the fruits are moist, they can’t be harvested, which reduces their shelf life. In addition, there’s a hazard from fungi of the Botrytis genus when there may be moisture, stated Schumacher.

With mulch movie and straw, farmers can maintain the strawberries clear and forestall them from rotting. “We are also lucky in our misfortune: it is not too warm, not humid,” stated the knowledgeable. Otherwise the fungus downside could be even worse. Nevertheless, “hygienic picking” is all the time essential to take away rotten fruit. “You have to watch this with eagle eyes.”

But it shouldn't get too heat too rapidly both. “The fruit needs time to ripen, to store aromas and sugar,” stated Schumacher. 25 levels, barely cloudy, not humid – that will be very best. If it will get too scorching, the strawberries would abruptly flip purple, however would stay softer and would then once more provide a bigger floor space for fungal infections.

The course of the season varies significantly from area to area

On common, the season went effectively. Thanks to plastic tunnels, many fruits in Germany had been saved even through the late frosts on the finish of April – not like in Poland, for instance, stated Schumacher. However, there are giant regional variations – relying on how a lot rain there was regionally. The northeast, for instance, had hardly any issues with this, because the meals commerce right here is effectively provided, stated Schumacher. “But customers will also find good goods in retail and direct marketing elsewhere.”

Imported strawberries from Greece or the Netherlands, for instance, not performed a significant function in May. However, strawberries are additionally sometimes in style when the solar is shining, stated Schumacher and spoke of “good weather customers”. In this respect, demand and provide each fell when it rained. In addition, there at the moment are Whitsun holidays in some federal states, which is why fewer strawberries are being purchased. According to the GfK family panel, each non-public family ate 4.13 kilograms of the candy fruit final 12 months – a great half got here from German cultivation, because the VSSE additionally introduced.

First “German Strawberry Day”

According to the knowledgeable, strawberry costs this 12 months ought to be on common on the identical degree as final 12 months, except it stays moist and chilly for an extended interval. Inflation has fallen and the minimal wage has been barely elevated. There is not any scarcity of staff. Working hours are shorter in some locations due to the climate.

How lengthy the season lasts relies upon totally on the climate, defined Schumacher. “If necessary, it can be over here and there at the end of June.” This Friday, the trade needs to promote once more and have a good time the primary self-initiated “German Strawberry Day”. The affiliation consultant introduced that there would then be particular promotions in lots of locations – from strawberry secco to strawberry cake.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:240523-99-131493/2