The months of August and September are good for mushrooms in the Pyrenees: the temperature has already dropped but it is not yet cold and it is raining. This year it has not been like that.
The production of these two months in the Pyrenees - which represents 50% of the annual production - is already considered lost and now hopes are focused on the Pre-Pyrenees and Central Catalonia.
Weather models predict rain in autumn, but we will have to see how it rains and where. “It's no use having 100 liters fall all at once. What is interesting is a light rain, for days,” underlines the mushroom expert from the Center for Forest Science and Technology of Catalonia, Juan Martínez.
In any case, the campaign in regions such as Berguedà or Ripollès has not yet started and is already a month late.
"You can count on one hand". Ramon Minoves, president of the Peña Boletaire de Berga, explains how the mushroom season is going in the region. And it is that, despite the recent rains, the forests of Berguedà are dry and the campaign has not yet started.
However, Minoves does not lose hope and is convinced that the rains of recent days will have taken their toll: "Now, the trick is not to water and leave." But for this to happen, it is necessary for it to continue raining to maintain humidity; that it doesn't freeze at night and that it doesn't get windy. "From there, you have to be lucky and go to the good places to find mushrooms," emphasizes the mushroom hunter.
Frost is what marks the end of the season and, therefore, in the Pyrenees, if it rains, mushrooms can be harvested until it starts to get cold. However, the best months in this area are August and September, and this year the season has been a disaster. According to the data collected by the CTFC in the plots it has spread throughout the territory, in these two months, in the Pyrenees, half of the entire year's mushroom production is harvested and this has already been considered lost.
Where hope is still maintained is in some areas of the Pre-Pyrenees, Central Catalonia and the Coast. Of course, here the season should have started a month ago and it hasn't yet, according to CTFC researcher Juan Martínez. Everything will depend on the rains and not just any one of them is worth it: it must be one that lasts for hours and falls. "It is not the same that 100 liters of water fall in one day than that the same rain falls spread over ten days," explains the mycology expert.
As for last season, mushroom production was "normal" and stood at 50 kilograms per hectare, somewhat below the average, which is 60 kilos per hectare. However, the mushroom hunting sector does not hide its concern about climate change, which is directly affecting mushroom production. "It is evident that we are concerned because the trend is to see that there are fewer and fewer mushrooms and there are more and more mushroom hunters," explains Minoves.
In this sense, studies by experts warn that in areas such as the Pyrenees there may be a reduction of up to 20% in mushroom production due to the lack of rain.