David Espinosa, Matiz Roses:

Ecuador's cold nights decreases production volumes

For several months now, Ecuadorian flower growers have been plagued by tough weather. "The unusual cold nights are affecting the productivity of the crop", says rose grower David Espinosa of Matiz Roses. His 8 ha farm is located in Lasso, Cotopaxi, at an altitude of 3,010 meters and his production has decreased by about 18 percent.


Natalya Pykanova and David Espinosa at the FlowersExpo in Russia.

Changing weather
The weather conditions in Ecuador are different this year. "In the beginning of the year, the temperatures were still normal. In March we saw a slight change and in June they started to drop. On average the temperature at night is 2 to 3 degrees, which is about 6 degrees lower than usual. In turn, the difference between the mid-day temperatures increases, as these are around 28 degrees Celsius", says Espinosa. And mainly due to the lower temperatures, there is also less sun hours than previous years. "We now have about 15 to 17 percent less sunlight hours than usual", he says.

Decrease production
As a consequence of the cold nights, the production dropped at many farms and also at Matiz Roses; it decreased by 18 percent. According to Espinosa, they are fortunate that they only suffered from a drop in production and not a decrease in the quality of the flowers. "Some sensitive varieties do not only decrease in production, but also lose the color and shape of the bloom. Fortunately, we do not grow these varieties", he explains.

Increase in prices
And less flowers on the market means higher prices. And this also counts in this case. "Russia, followed by the USA and EU, is our main market and due to the low volumes on the market, the prices increased by about 10 percent compared to last year. However, I have to say that these prices are still lower than the prices we received in 2012, before the crisis in Russia", says Espinosa.

Forecast
According to Espinosa, some showers are expected. "These showers will increase the level of humidity, which will consequently increase the temperatures during the night, where we have experienced our lowest temperature records." But he remains skeptic. "The weather should have changed two weeks ago, but it did not. So, let's see what the coming days will look like. Hopefully the weather will return to normal soon as the winter season is starting. And this is the busiest season of the year."

For more information
Matiz Roses
David Espinosa
Email: david@matizroses.com
www.matizroses.com

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