This year’s harvest has disappointed many fruit growers in the Znojmo region of the Czech Republic. The cold spring weather caused damage to many fruit trees, leaving orchards with a yield around 30% lower than expected. The yield will be as low as 20% of the average for some varieties, such as apricots.
The Pomona orchard in Těšetice is an affected farm with a smaller harvest than usual. Their director, Ivo Pokorný, said they won’t even bother harvesting peaches this year because there aren’t enough to make it worthwhile.
The situation is not unique to Pomona, as many other growers are experiencing similar losses. The cherry harvest has decreased by 90%, while plums are only at an average yield. Only apples are doing well this year, but it’s not enough to compensate for the shortfall.
The poor harvest has led some growers to consider cutting down their orchards to make way for other crops. Pomona has already cut down 14 hectares of orchards and may have to cut down more. The company is also considering converting some of the land into fields for other crops, such as corn and potatoes.
The situation is not just affecting commercial growers but also smaller family-run farms. Radek Jansta of Velké Bílovice has two hectares of apricot trees, but the cold weather destroyed 95% of the crop. He estimates a loss of around 40 tonnes of fruit this year, a massive blow to his business.
Despite the losses, some growers are determined to continue with their orchards. For many, it’s a family tradition they don’t want to give up. However, the weather is making it increasingly challenging to maintain profitability, and some may have to look for other options if the situation doesn’t improve.