The rain that affected the country in the second half of the year left as an immediate consequence the flooding of fertile land and the loss of crops that should be harvested in the following months of the season, as well as the increase in the price of some. fruits and vegetables. result of rain in the month of August.
In this way, half of the cherry production in Chile cannot be sold due to water absorption, as explained by Claudia Fuentealba, an academic at the School of Agronomy of the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso.
“The loss of cherries occurs due to the splitting of the fruit, which is also called “cracking.” As shown, this situation is caused by water that expands the skin of the fruit.
The event also has an impact on exports, since Chile is one of the main producers of cherries.
“The country produces fruit of excellent quality in terms of size, firmness, color and taste, in addition to low visual defects. “Split fruit not only affects the aesthetic appearance, but it is also exposed to decay and the development of fungi, which is critical, especially if you have to travel for several days to reach destinations like China,” explained Fuentealba.
Official figures from the Federation of Fruit Producers in Chile estimate a 50% reduction in yields and currently it is not possible to ensure a full recovery.
“Due to climate change and meteorological events, it is increasingly difficult to be sure if next season we will return to the numbers we had in recent years. However, some practices can be implemented to minimize the splitting of cherries, such as covering the cherry trees on rainy days and choosing fruit varieties that are more resistant to this damage, “concludes the academic.