According to EastFruit, the high yield of strawberries , expected by the analysts in Ukraine in 2021, may again be below preliminary forecasts. The main reason is prolonged number of days with rains in almost the entire territory of Ukraine Moreover, the weather forecast for the coming days does not look good.
Excessive moisture leads to numerous diseases of strawberry crops. At the same time, it also impacts the crop protection and the treatments which become less effective.
Farmers in many regions of Ukraine are in distress. For some, matured strawberries literally stand in the water, and they cannot be collected. In the cases where the harvest is possible the quality and shelf-life parameters tend to be very low and the strawberries are not arriving to the fresh market but are sold for processing at a much lower.
Note also that cloudy weather further delays the ripening of strawberries and negatively affects its taste and BRIX level. The beginning of the season this year was already delayed by an average of 10 days. At the same time, prices for strawberries are already lower than a year earlier . However, the situation may well change.
At the moment, the mass ripening of berries in the open field has begun only in the southern regions of Ukraine, and the main offer comes from the Kherson region. There, weekend prices for small wholesale batches of a low-quality strawberries dropped to UAH 30 / kg ($ 1.1 per kg), and for high-quality are around UAH 50 / kg ($ 1.8). However, the weather is still rainy in the region. In addition, a significant drop in air temperature is predicted, which may stabilize and possibly even increase prices for strawberries.
The harvest of strawberries in the central and northern regions of Ukraine is still under question mark. In these regions the area cultivated with strawberries increased in the recent years. the weather forecast scares producers who already have problems with strawberry diseases. In the coming days, a colder wave and an increase in precipitation in these regions are expected, which may nullify all their efforts by damaging the entire crop in terms of quality and quantity.
By the way, the negative impact of weather conditions on the yield and quality of strawberries is now forcing Polish gardeners to produce strawberries in film tunnels. Perhaps this could be a good strategy for Ukrainian producers as well.
Rainy weather will negatively affect not only strawberries, but also other berry crops. Already, the prospects for the yield of blueberries and honeysuckle in Ukraine in 2021 cause some concern.
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