Summer storms damage 10,000 hectares of crops in Utiel-Requena


Summer storms damage 10000 hectares of crops in Utiel-Requena.
 
The spectacular electrical storm and thunderstorms which lit up Valencia´s skies on Friday night have caused serious damage to the vineyards,olive and almond groves of Utiel-Requena ( damage now estimated at 3.1m€ ). The storms which grew over Castilla La mancha and left the skies lit up permanently for some 2 hours did their worst over the town of Venta del Moro, its hamlets of Casas del Rey and Las Monjas and the city of Requena itself going as far south as El Robellar and Siete Aguas. The worst fears  are that up to 70% of fruit on the vines have been destroyed over some 5k hectares and the remainder affected  between 10-60%. Over 50 litres per metre squared  fell, some of it as hailstones. Many local growers spent an anxious night before assessing the damage yesterday, unable in some cases to get into the vineyards which were still flooded.
 
This could bring further problems to what remains of the crop. Mildew caused by this years heavier than normal rainfall and humidity had all but been eradicated by several treatments and the long spell of hot weather in the last three weeks or so. However growers are worried that the disease will return before they can treat the crop again because of inaccessibility to the vineyards. In particular tempranillo, plantanova, macabeo and garnacha are worst affected.
 
The local Agricultural Union will again approach the public authorities for financial assistance as less than 25% of growers take out insurance in the current poor economic circumstances affecting the viticultural industry.
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