Swiss fruit growers defy dodgy spring weather

Despite capricious weather Swiss fruit growers benefits from a better than average overall summer harvest, Schweizer Obsterband, the Swiss fruit association said on Thursday.

Swiss fruit growers defy dodgy spring weather
Photo: Schweizer Obsterband/flickr

The season was marked by cool and wet conditions in the spring, persisting into mid-June, leading to harvests that were two weeks later than normal in all areas of the country, the association said.

But hot temperatures in the summer led to a bumper crop of strawberries and other berries, which exceeded the average from the past four years, the fruit growers organization said.

The record harvest of strawberries of close to 7,000 tonnes was 250 tonnes ahead of the previous year, while the volume of plums rose more than 50 percent to 3,321 tonnes. the group said.

Raspberries (1,219 tonnes), blackberries (394 tonnes), blueberries (308 tonnes) and gooseberries (307 tonnes) all hit higher than average returns.

More apricots (4,389 tonnes) and cherries (1,644 tonnes) were picked than last year but the volumes were lower than three years ago.

The cool spring adversely affected the cherry harvest, Schweizer Osterband said.

The favorite fruit for Swiss residents — apples — are still being harvested, with some varieties, such as Braeburn, still to be picked until November.

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9,000 lightning bolts: Heavy storms sweep across Switzerland

Hurricane-like gusts have swept across much of Switzerland on Sunday and Monday. Weather experts have counted at least 9,000 lightning bolts striking since Sunday.

9,000 lightning bolts: Heavy storms sweep across Switzerland

As of Monday morning however, the storms have largely receded in most of the country. 

Swiss weather service Meteonews said the canton of Bern was the heaviest hit, with 2,500 lightning strikes. 

Around 850 were recorded in Uri, followed by Fribourg, Vaud and St Gallen. 

Winds of 111km/h were recorded on the Weissfluhjoch summit, while wind speeds of 85km/h were recorded in Meiringen and Sitten. 

Monday will experience some winds, but will largely be sunny. 

Temperatures of 24C degrees are predicted in the north of the country, while heights of 30C are predicted for the centre and south.