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Frost destroys apple blossom

The unseasonal frost has destroyed up to 80 percent of the apple blossom in East Tyrol according to local farmers.

The temperature dropped in the region to -5 degrees centigrade over the Easter weekend and farmers spokesman Hermann Kuenz who is himself a farmer said: "I've been in business 25 years and I've never seen such a destructive frost."

Part of the reason for the massive damage was that the apple blossom this year came out earlier than anybody can remember. Because the blossom started much sooner it meant that the damage was that much more severe.

The problem was also worsened by the fact that the was a wind which always increases the amount of damage frost can do.

Other fruit trees such as peach and apricots are also affected.

The problem is physically severe because damage to the harvest by frost cannot be covered by insurance, in contrast to damage from hailstones which is covered.

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