Poland: Frost damage reduces harvest by 85%

Poland is considered to be a comparatively medium-sized country. Its total area is 312 700 km2 . With a population of 38.5 million, the country occupies 6th place in the EU-28, both in terms of population and area. It is worth noting that Poland has the highest agricultural population in the EU-28 and in terms of the total number of agricultural farms it holds second position after Romania.

Fruit harvests in Poland in 2014 were record high and amounted to 4.2 million tons. Production of fruit from the trees was 3.6 million tons and it was 2.8% higher than fruit harvests of 2013. It was also 44% higher than the average fruit production in the years 2006-2010.

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The situation of the apples from the new season has so far been dramatic. Severe frost following a period of dry weather did no good to the fruit. The latest severe frost was recorded on the night between 7 and 8 May. The growers had sprayed the apples with protective products prior to the frost; however, at the end of May, there were reports that the apples in Poland were falling off the trees and were therefore unsuitable for consumption.

Damage claims vary per region. Some growers report the loss of 30 to 40% of their harvest, while others have lost up to 100%. The apples that can be saved will mainly go to the local markets. There will be a lot less available for export. The Gala and Champion varieties have suffered minimal losses, while the Idared and Golden have been the most affected.

It has been estimated that just 40% of the Polish apple harvest will survive. With regard to the volume in stock: on May 1 it stood at 405,000 tons, which is more than the average for this period, compared to previous years.