Cherry harvest in Germany has declined by 23.2%, or almost a quarter, to 38,400 tonnes in 2021 from 50,000 tonnes last year, data from the Federal Statistical Office has revealed.
Late frosts, heavy rain and storms have shattered the hope of German tree fruit companies for an average cherry harvest in many places.
Cherry harvest has declined by 19.9% compared to the ten-year average of 47,900 tonnes for the years 2011 to 2020.
According to the final estimate on 20 August 2021, sweet cherry harvest in 2021 amounted to 27,300 tonnes and was significantly below the value of the preliminary estimate in June.
It also reflects a decline of 16.4% when compared with the ten-year average of 32,700 tonnes.
With an estimated harvest of 12,500 tonnes, Baden-Württemberg produced 45.8% of German sweet cherries in the country, data showed.
In contrast to sweet cherries, a small sour cherry harvest became apparent early on. The final estimate of the harvest volume of 11,000 tonnes deviated only slightly from the preliminary estimates in June and July.
The regional focus of sour cherries is in Rhineland-Palatinate, where 4,700 tonnes, or 42.8% of the German harvest, were produced.
In general, late frosts and unfavourable weather conditions caused harvest losses in many places, especially for sweet cherries.
Unlike sour cherries, sweet cherries are sensitive to weather during the flowering and ripening stage, after which they burst or rot.
Elsewhere, pear harvest in Germany is also expected to decline by 1.4% to 38,700 tonnes, from 39,300 tonnes last year.
In April, successive cold snaps have destroyed between 30,000 and 50,000 hectares of French sugar beet, growers group CGB said, calling it the worst frost-related losses for the sector ever recorded.
FranceAgriMer said in April that it was too early to estimate the impact of the severe frost on grain crops but there is some concern over damage in the central and southern parts of the country.