Kiwifruit production damaged by frosts in Italy
Severe frosts that hit much of Europe in late April are estimated to have damaged up to 70% of kiwifruit production in a major Italian growing area.
Low temperatures from 20-22 April appear to have severely affected growers in the Lazio region, where around 30% of national production is based. The key points from the research are:
• There are about 6,000 hectares of kiwifruit (both yellow and green) between Latino and Rome, and the damage is between 60-70%
• Some orchards have 100% damage, some have none - especially in the higher areas
• Male plants were generally less affected than the smaller female plants
• Anti-hail nets provided some degree of protection, depending on location
• Yellow kiwifruit varieties had just started the flowering period when the frosts hit, while the green cultivars were a few days away from flowering
• There has also been damage in Piedmont (the country’s second most productive region) with damage estimates ranging from 10-30%.
We talked about the need to increase Psa protective sprays in line with seasonal weather changes in an April edition of the Bulletin after we had news out of northern Italy that following extensive wet and harsh weather, Psa symptoms indicate infection this spring is higher than previous years.
Following on from our own wet, windy weather we could see the same symptoms here in New Zealand next spring if the right action isn’t taken to protect orchards post-harvest.
Detailed information and guidance for protecting and managing orchards is available in the Psa-V Best Practice Guide available on the KVH website.