In almost all regions of Ukraine, the season of fresh garden strawberries and blueberries will begin two weeks later than usual. Cold winter and spring will take up to 40% of the harvest.
“In the south, the season of garden strawberries will begin approximately only in a week, not earlier. According to our data, crop losses from frost will be at the level of 35-40%”, says Taras Bashtannyk.
According to him, in the central part of Ukraine, they will begin to pick the first garden strawberries approximately from 10 June, and crop losses there will be less, at the level of 10-15%.
The expert is sure that the domestic berry will not be cheaper; the prices will remain at least at last year’s level.
“The season of blueberries will also start with a delay of several weeks. Mass fruiting will begin on 1-5 July. In Zakarpattia and the south it will begin earlier. As for possible crop losses, the data differ: some farming enterprises estimate them at 10-15%, others – at 35-40%”, – comments the expert.
According to Taras Bashtannyk, blueberries were affected not so much by spring frosts as by a very cold winter. A significant part of blueberry plantations in Ukraine is concentrated in Volyn. In this region, there were abnormally low temperatures in winter, and at the end of the first decade of May the temperature dropped to -3 °C at night, a bit earlier there were frosts -8-9 °C.
“The cold in May will bring additional losses; it is too early yet to talk about specific figures. In addition, blueberry growers are going to face another wave of risk when a flowering season begins. Frosts in this period will also have a negative impact on yields”, adds Taras Bashtannyk.
The expert noted that the remontant varieties of raspberries almost did not suffer from the cold spring. Summer varieties, which are grown mainly in Zhytomyr and Vinnytsia Regions, will lose 15-20% of this season’s harvest.
“The cost of fresh raspberries is influenced by many factors. However, taking into account not too large areas with it in our country, this berry will not be cheap either”, – says the president of the Ukrainian Fruit and Vegetable Association.
“There is no supply of frozen raspberries for export now. The gathered and frozen harvest was sold before the new year. There is nothing at the warehouses now”, explains Taras Bashtannyk.
“New plantations are formed, but we are talking about 10-15 hectares, therefore blackberries, sea buckthorn and honeysuckle remain niche. Blueberries are the most profitable at present, so the areas under it are growing most of all. We can also single out garden strawberries, but the economic effect of its production depends very much on marketing”, summed up Taras Bashtannyk.