Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Freezing Jimena and Castellar request declaration as 'disaster area'

Frost damage in Tesorillo
(Photo: europasur.es)
JIMENA/CASTELLAR (Agencies) The freezing weather is doing away with this year's crops of oranges and avocados, according to Juan Salido, agricultural union's Campo representative. He added that there had been no temperatures as low as the -5ºC of last Tuesday, since 2205, which means that 80% of the avocado crop is destroyed. Many farmers changed much of their orange groves to avocados, as they are better priced. "But avocados go black very quickly in this kind of weather, and it often means that the damaged trees have to be uprooted and replaced," said Salido. Damage to oranges appear later but his estimate is that about half of this year's crop is already lost. His union is planning to request the area to be declared a 'disaster area' (zona catastrófica), which, he says "Doesn't mean a lot but at least we can get it off our chests. The area most drastically affected is>>>
the lower part of the Guadiaro Valley, ibn other words, the groves from San Pablo de Buceite down to those below Castellar. Before last week there was what is called escarcha blanca (white frost) but the latest temperatures are called black frost (escarcha negra) because of a lack of humidity, which is worse because it "burns everything off."

Local farmers have hardly slept in a week, hoping to save their crops. The union thanked the delegation from the Agencia Andaluza del Agua (Water Agency of Andalucía), who have worked in 14 hour shifts, watering the crops, which is an age-old way of protecting them, but without much success this time.

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