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Aid promised for fruit and wine growers

Frost damage on a vine / Photo: Sebastian Kahnert/dpa
Frost damage on a vine / Photo: Sebastian Kahnert/dpa

Just over a month after the immense frost damage, the Saxon Environment Minister has promised financial aid for Saxony's fruit and winegrowing businesses. "I am firmly committed to Saxon fruit and wine growing. There will be decisive aid," said Wolfram Günther (Greens) according to a press release on Wednesday. "The damage is dramatically high, the industry needs help, and it will get it."

The specific damage is currently being recorded. "The amounts of damage also depend on whether fruit that may grow back in small quantities after a second budding can be marketed at all, or whether new shoots in viticulture still produce small harvests," explained Günther. "We are currently examining all possible support options together with the other departments. The cabinet will take the necessary decision as soon as possible."

In the night of April 23, temperatures in Saxony's fruit and wine-growing regions dropped to as low as minus seven degrees at ground level for several hours. Although night frosts are not unusual in the second half of April, the previously warm temperatures meant that the fruit trees and vines had started flowering particularly early and were already well advanced by the end of April. The plants were therefore particularly susceptible to damage. The Saxony & Saxony-Anhalt Fruit Growers' Association recently estimated the crop loss at between 50 and 70 million euros.

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