The fruit harvest in the Czech Republic fell by 26% last year, amounting to a below-average haul of 121,946 tons. This marked the lowest yield in the past six years.
Apple trees experienced a significant decline of 27%, with the yield of 100,604 tons being the lowest in the last 12 years. Large decreases were also seen in the harvest of apricots, peaches, plums, and cherries.
This data was revealed in Tuesday’s harvest balance sheet released by the Central Control and Testing Institute of Agriculture (ÚKZÚZ). Apple yields were at their lowest since 2011.
“Last year was not favorable for stone fruits. Frost significantly damaged plantations of apricots and peaches, and the cultivation of these in the Czech Republic is ending. The yield of plums was mainly knocked down by damp and cold weather during the flowering period,” commented Martin Ludvík, the chairman of the Fruit Growers’ Union of the Czech Republic, at the Fruit Days in Hradec Králové.
Compared to the average harvests of the previous five years, last year’s yield was 18% lower. About half of the harvest decrease compared to the long-term average was reflected in the annual reduction of orchard areas by more than 8% to 11,206 hectares.
This represented a loss of a million trees and shrubs. Fruit growers have resorted to felling due to the low purchase prices of fruit and the long-term unprofitability of cultivation.