France is in a cold snap, with weather dropping to an unexpected -4 ° C in large parts of the country, record lows for April. And that poses huge problems for farmers and wine producers, who fear that crops will be damaged. From Chablis to Champagne, as reported Local, France has been covered with images of what looks like burnt fields.
These are harvest candles, placed in the fields by the farmers to prevent frost.
As reported by actu.frFrom Monday evening to Tuesday morning the temperature dropped, but it was not as alarming as the weather from Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning. Winemaker Claire Lelais in southern Sarthe, northwest France, said the situation deteriorated over a period of several hours as the increased humidity began to freeze the vines, and many farmers were forced to light as many candles as they could afford crops.
However, a big issue for wineries is the cost. As reported by The connection, these controlled fires can raise the temperature by 3 ° C, but candles can cost up to € 10 ($ 12) each, so the cost can go up to € 2,000 – € 3,000 (2,400 to 3 $ 600) per hectare.
Some farmers are turning to other methods. A Burgundian farmer, reported by TBEN, watered his orchards with water. He explained, “It’s simple. Water produces this gel as it freezes. And it releases calories, which are digested inside the ice cream and apple blossom. It is less cold inside the ice, like an Eskimo inside an igloo, than outside. Others have hired helicopters to fly low over their crops to maintain airflow to prevent freezing.
Thursday night is expected to bring more biting temperatures and possibly the worst night for vineyards further south.