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in the Gard, crops threatened by negative temperatures


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in the Gard, crops threatened by negative temperatures

On the evening of Saturday April 2, three departments are still placed on snow and ice alert: Loire, Haute-Loire and Puy-de-Dôme. Winegrowers, arboriculturists and market gardeners try to protect their crops.

At the beginning of April, the apricot trees of Geoffrey Magnani, in Saint-Gilles (Gard), are in full growth. The berries have reached a critical stage: the stone has not yet begun to form, and the frost forecast for the next few days could compromise the harvest. In 2021, the arborist lost 30% of his harvest. This year, he invested 50,000 euros in antifreeze candles. “It is the most expensive, most reactive, and most ephemeral protection, since every eight hours, the pots must be renewed”he confides.

He also uses a gas burner to propel hot air into the orchards. In total, more than 200,000 euros of investment, which could be insufficient if the temperatures turn out to be colder than expected. In Beaucaire (Gard), Pierre Pailloux, market gardener, is also hard at work protecting his 300 hectares of melons from frost. He reinforces his thermal covers all day long with earth. The device makes it possible to gain 4 to 5 degrees.

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