20. 04. 2017 14:42
Slovak fruit growers are in for sleepless nights, as they are getting ready to pull out all the stops in an effort to save their crops, Slovak Agriculture and Food Chamber (SPPK) spokesperson Jana Holéciová told TASR on Wednesday. Between 800 and 1,000 people were working in orchards during the night from Wednesday to Thursday and are planning to continue also overnight from Thursday to Friday.
In order to save their promising crops, fruit growers are deploying new devices for the first time: fog-generating equipment as well as the traditionally-used paraffin candles. One such fog machine is able to generate vapour above an orchard of 20 hectares for three to four hours, said the head of the Slovak Fruit Growers Union Marián Varga. This can greatly enhance the defensive shield against the frost compared to using only candles. In order to further increase the level of protection, anti-frost drip irrigation is also to be deployed. However, this method consumes large quantities of water. For the time being, fruit growers are not talking about losses. "We'll do anything to protect the promising crops," said Varga.
On Wednesday, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Gabriela Matečná cautioned wine and fruit growers against a crop-killing chill expected on Friday. Temperatures plunged around this time last year, too, with up to 70 percent of growing areas being damaged by frost, resulting in damages of €35 million.