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Diana Erazo, Ecoroses:
"Ecuador: "Unusual cold nights affecting rose production"
Ecoroses is located at the foot of the Illinizas mountains in the Machachi Valley of Ecuador and grows roses in a 24ha farm on an altitude of 3,200 meters above sea level. On average, they produce around 20 million stems a year, but this number might be lower this year, due to these cold nights.
Diana Erazo and Alejandro Ordenez at the FlowersExpo Russia. Around 30 percent of their roses are shipped to Russia.
30 percent decrease in productivity
"Usually, the temperatures at night are about 6 to 7 degrees celsius, but over the past few weeks we have had several nights when the temperature has dropped down to 2 degrees for a few hours", says Erazo. Even though Ecoroses, has a heating installation in the greenhouse, the cold is affecting the production of their crop. "Cold temperatures do not affect quality much, but it does affect quantity and overall productivity. At our farm, it decreased by 30 percent, at least. We work on trying to compensate the plants offering them more readily available nutrients."
Financial damage from Hurricane Irma limited
Of course, Erazo is not pleased with this situation at all, but it came out convenient given the closing of the Miami airport due to Hurricane Irma. In the weekend of September 9 and 10, Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida, where Miami airport is located. As the bulk of South American flowers enters the US via this airport, the floral industry was heavily affected. In advance of the Hurricane, flights were cancelled and after the Hurricane, the cargo flights picked up very slowly. Several farms lost thousands of dollars. And as the United States is also one of Ecoroses' main markets, they were affected too. However, due to the lower production volume, Ecoroses lost less flowers than they would have lost under regular weather conditions.
Back in production in couple of weeks
According to Erazo, the weather is expected to remain the same for the next two to three weeks. "Then, the rains will start to appear together with warmer nights." And Ecoroses expects to be back to regular production within a couple of weeks as well.
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