Fruit Growers Breathe Sigh of Relief past Frosty Night

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(Stock photo by TASR/AP)

Bratislava, April 21 (TASR) – Hundreds of fruit growers in Slovakia hardly slept this past night as they were anxiously working on their orchards to save their future crops following meteorologists’ warnings of a frost throughout the country, TASR learnt on Friday.

“It can generally be stated that fruit growers had been expecting lower temperatures. For example, [temperatures of] minus 3.4 degrees Celsius were measured close to the ground in Vesele near Piestany (Trnava region), while there were some minus 2 degrees measured elsewhere. The threshold temperature that results in damages to plant tissues is minus 1 degree Celsius,” said Jana Holeciova, spokesperson of the Slovak Agriculture and Food Chamber.

Fruit growers employed all available equipment to warm their orchards this past night, including the use of paraffin candles brought from Spain and Hungary on eleven lorries for growers throughout Slovakia, said Holeciova.

Other measures included the burning of straw in orchards, anti-frost drip irrigation and the mowing of grass near trunks to allow warm air from the soil to ascend more easily, while fog generators were also used in some places.

“There certainly will be businesses posting damage, but we can’t discuss here any disastrous losses like last year. Nonetheless, it’s far from being over for us, as further frosty nights are still ahead,” said Slovak Fruit Grower Union chairman Marian Varga.