Blackcurrant harvest very poor, prices through the roof

Blackcurrant. Source: Pixabay

Blackcurrant growers describe this year's harvest as abysmal as a result of several cold spells in the spring.

The early summer drought has also caused the berries to be smaller than usual. This translates into higher prices for the consumer.

Alar Allik, who grows blackcurrants on ten hectares (around 25 acres – ed.) at the Alliku Organic Farm in Setomaa, told ERR that this year's harvest is so poor it makes him laugh.

"It's bordering on hilarious just how poor this year has been. We harvest between three and four tons per hectare during very good years, while the average could be two tons per hectare for organic berries and a ton per hectare on lean years. We harvested a total of 740 kilograms of berries from a five-hectare field this year," Allik said.

The grower said that spring cold spells are the reason for the dismal harvest.

"There were freezing temperatures when the plants where flowering and it happened in waves on several consecutive days, which killed the blossoms," the farmer said.

Aare Rätsepp, tending 12 hectares of blackcurrants at Peedo Farm, said that he is not hoping to harvest anything. The farmer has also tallied up potential damages stretching into tens of thousands of euros.

"The spring cold spell took most of them. The question today is whether I will even attempt a harvest. Only the first few bushes of a row have berries, with the rest of the field completely bare."

Asked what the failed harvest means for the berry farmer, Rätsepp said that while it is hard to forecast at current prices, he is looking at a €50,000-60,000 hole.

Very dry weeks in June also contributed to the poor harvest as the berries that did grow are smaller than usual.

For consumers, the situation means blackcurrant prices are up to 25 percent higher than normally. People who are slow to the market might even miss out on blackcurrants completely this year.


Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!

Editor: Marcus Turovski

Hea lugeja, näeme et kasutate vanemat brauseri versiooni või vähelevinud brauserit.

Parema ja terviklikuma kasutajakogemuse tagamiseks soovitame alla laadida uusim versioon mõnest meie toetatud brauserist: