Severe storms in Serbia have ravaged multiple crops in the past two weeks, but investments in protective nets by the country’s apple growers may limit the damage

A second major storm in two weeks swept through the Balkans this week, bringing high winds, heavy rain and hail as it passed through Slovenia and Croatia before reaching Serbia and Bosnia.

Apple picking in serbia

“There have been several massive storms in Serbia in the past two weeks, including hail,” said Julka Toskić, CEO of AgroBrand and manager of the Serbia Does Apples association. “Lots of areas with agricultural production have seen crops damaged. This is also the case with apple and pear orchards, as well as stonefruit.”

According to Toskić, there is no official data yet on the scale of the damage sustained in Serbian orchards, but she expects the country’s apple growers to be the best protected thanks to investments in protective nets.

“The apple crop in Serbia is the best protected with anti-hail networks, so I believe the damage will be smallest in apples,” she says. “Apple producers with orchards covered by nets will consider the cost less significant if their whole harvest is saved in one production year.

“As always small-scale individual farmers will pay the highest price, as they lack anti-hail networks and full insurance of their orchards. Such extreme weather shows again how important it is to use state-of-the-art technology in fruit product