Turkish Apricot, Crop Report 17.04.2023
Malatya is struggling to recover after a catastrophic earthquake. After a very dry winter, the apricot trees began to bloom in the second half of March. Just before and during the flowering, Malatya, and all other neighboring apricot-growing regions, received plenty of showers and snowfall, eliminating fears of drought.
Abundant rains created a positive mood and raised hopes for a healthy crop, but excessive moisture caused an almost forgotten disease in apricot trees to resurface: Monilia disease (the disease called "Monilinia laxa" in the literature) is a type of fungal disease that can lead to a loss of fruit yield in apricot trees. Unfortunately, this disease is common in all growing regions. Chambers of Agriculture and farmers carry out their spraying activities in a coordinated way to reduce the damage caused by this disease. Even disease-free gardens need to be sprayed for the general struggle to be successful.
Another problem, "pollen washing", was detected in apricot flowers due to prolonged rains during the flowering period. Due to this problem, the pollination of flowers decreases, and fruit formations are reduced.
While the fight against the disease continued in the trees, frost occurred for three nights between 31 March and 1 April. The frost effect was seen in Malatya and surrounding provinces.
It's too early to see a proper picture of the damage to the upcoming crop. The suppliers need warm and bright weather to understand the true extent of the damages created by the frosts and the diseases. When the trees are exposed to the sun and warm weather, the dead (frosted or immature) young fruits will be shaken off, and there will be more information about rate of the surviving fruits.
There are very pessimistic expectations about the effects of the diseases and the frosts, but the suppliers are optimistic about the 2023 crop season too. The crop had severe frost damage in 2004, and the official crop estimate was not declared because nothing was expected. However, in the 2004 crop season, Türkiye exported more than 72,000 tons of dried apricots.
On the other hand, not all regions started blooming at once. The orchards in the north and the orchards in the south, the orchards in the high places, and the orchards in the plains - they all began to bloom at different times. Therefore, the damage levels couldn’t be the same in all regions, and certainly, some areas were not damaged at all.
Almost every season, there is some sort of damage in dried apricot crops, and growers lose some of the crop. Turkish growers lose 25%, sometimes 50%, sometimes even more of the yield. These are the percentages of a healthy crop, indicating the lost part of an undamaged crop with these rates.
In crop 2012, the crop size estimated crop was 176.718 tons. The suppliers believe that the actual sizes of the crops are 10% more than the declared crop sizes (please evaluate the attached file - crop estimate rate to actual consumption). Therefore, in crop 2012, it was calculated that the actual size of the crop was about 195,000 tons. In fact that 195,000 tons as the largest crop size ever detected.
Estimated crop volume for 2023 is 100 000 MT.