04.08.2022, Niedersachsen, Hove: Eine Apfel mit Sonnenbrand hängt bei hohen Temperaturen und Sonnenschein an einem Baum einer Apfelplantage. Die Bauern im Alten Land erwarten eine gute Apfelernte. (zu dpa "Gute Apelernte im Alten Land erwartet - Wasser gegen Sonnenbrand") Foto: Daniel Bockwoldt/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The fruit growers in Brandenburg are struggling with drought, strong sunlight and higher costs. The yields are good overall, but there are cutbacks in certain types of fruit due to the weather with little precipitation and hot spells, reports Thomas Bröcker, a specialist in fruit cultivation at the Brandenburg Horticultural Association. “In addition, nothing works without irrigation when it’s dry.” That causes higher costs with low market prices at the same time.

Bröcker manages one of 17 small businesses that have joined together in the Markendorf Ost marketing cooperative. A total of 280 hectares are cultivated in Markendorf, a district of Frankfurt (Oder), half of which is pome fruit and the other half stone fruit. The area in East Brandenburg is the second largest fruit-growing area in the state.

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The fruit grower reports that the intense sunlight in particular causes problems for certain red-skinned apple varieties. Some varieties such as Gala are up to 30 percent burned. “We haven’t had that in the hardness either,” says Bröcker, who has been working as a fruit grower in Markendorf for over 40 years.

Plums were often too small this year due to the severe drought, so a few tons were lost, he described the effects of the drought.

According to Bröcker, cherries were infested with ants in no small number. “When it’s dry, ants look for something that’s moist and eat the fruit. Second, they want the sugar from the aphids. Dry years are lice years,” says the expert.