European Almonds Crop Report 22.02.24

Date: 22nd February 2024 Category: Latest News
European Almonds Crop Report 22.02.24

The autumn-winter season of 2023/2024 in the southwest region of the Iberian Peninsula is notably warm overall. Precipitation patterns have been erratic, resulting in irregular rainfall distribution. While rainfall generally falls within normal ranges, certain areas experience significantly below-average precipitation. Most orchards in Alentejo, Extremadura and western Andalusia receive between 350-450.. of accumulated rainfall during the agricultural year, though exceptions ranging from over 500mm to as low as 150mm have been recorded.

As of 12th February, the reservoir level in southwest Spain presents a challenging situation. The Guadalquivir Basin is critically low, with storage at 1,864 Hm3, representing only 23.22% of its total capacity. Similarly, the Guadiana Basin shows below-average storage for this time of year, at 34.5% which is comparable to the previous year. In contrast, Portugal experiences significantly better conditions, with the Alqueva reservoir reaching around 88% of its capacity.

If current meteorological conditions persist, a challenging season is expected, with water supply becoming a major limiting factor. Andalusia faces a particularly tough situation, anticipating three consecutive years of low water availability, primarily focused on sustaining woody crops.

Abnormally warm temperatures have been observed over the past two weeks, with some locations experiencing maximum temperatures surpassing 20 degrees Celsius. This early warmth suggests an earlier bloom compared to previous years, heightening the risk of frost damage. Early varieties like Soleta have already reached full bloom in warm orchards, while intermediate and late varieties such as Guara or Lauranne are beginning to bloom. In colder regions, extra-late varieties like Penta show no signs of activity yet.

Observations in Portugal and Extremadura indicate high yield potential for the Lauranne variety, while the Marta variety shows less promising signs, though it's still premature to draw conclusions.

via De Prado