Allegrini 2018

After the frost, the damage count among the rows and the silence of the Italian media

Italian agriculture and wine grappling with the effects of dropping temperatures: but newspapers and tv give more space to French vineyards

While many media, including national ones, have focused on the damage to vineyards in France, Italy is also paying the price of the frost, with damage especially to vineyards and orchards, which, in some areas, also record total losses of production. This is underlined by Confagricoltura, according to which the damage at the moment amounts to 1 billion euros, and therefore requires extraordinary interventions, perhaps refinancing the National Solidarity Fund. Besides, in France, President Macron has already announced extraordinary interventions, so if one really wants to follow France, it should be done on a political level, not on the national media, where wine and viticulture find less and less space.
The subject, meanwhile, is becoming more and more sensitive, so much that Raffaele Nevi, deputy and vice-president of Forza Italia group, has taken care of it in an official note. “Today in the press is given ample space to the damages of the frosts in France, which have destroyed about 80% of vineyards. I can well imagine the feeling of these agricultural entrepreneurs, because the exceptional nature of this weather event will produce significant economic damage. However, I want to point out that the same thing happened here in Italy as well. Thousands of hectares of vineyards were completely lost with the frosts”, says the note of the deputy. “The trade associations in recent days - he continues - have launched several appeals for an extraordinary intervention of national and European institutions. Some estimates speak of damage to about 60% of Italian production. In addition to vineyards, even the fruit and vegetable industry is seriously involved with peaks of damage to production quantified between 80 and 90% in some parts of our country. I hope - concludes Nevi - that authoritative Italian press organs will give more voice to Italian producers and to our agri-food sector, which is the second economic sector of the country”.
To certify the extent of damages in vineyards, arrives punctually the monitoring of Assoenologi, according to which the consequences of the frost wave are important in Italy as well. The situation seems to be spread in many areas, but the ones which suffered the most were the ones in the middle hills and in the valley floor, with specific damages on those early varieties which had already released their first buds. There are areas particularly affected in Tuscany and Umbria, but also some territories of Emilia-Romagna and Veneto, as well as many other areas where, fortunately, there are no particular repercussions, especially in the southern regions that are those with the highest production potential.
From this first monitoring, apart from some exceptions, we do not foresee, as of today, significant reductions of the national production potential, even if an actual evaluation about the real damages to the production can be done only in about ten days, when the buds will pass to the next stage and will blossom and, at the same time, we will have passed other days in which important temperature drops are expected again. “The precious activity of Assoenologi monitoring on the whole Italian territory is aimed at giving an important contribution to the many producers who, more and more often, have to deal with the phenomenon of climate change”, commented Assoenologi president, Riccardo Cotarella.

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