After two years of remote events, Cherry Day 2022, organized by the Argentinean Chamber of Integrated Cherry Producers, CAPCI, returned to its in-person format. The event took place in Chimpay, a historical location in Avellaneda in the Patagonian Río Negro Province.
Cherry Day 2022 went on for two days; the first took place at Kleppe packing and was a meeting between CAPCI members, who were able to see interesting technical talks about the Chinese market, viruses, the Chilean experience and frost control, among other subjects.
The second day was an outdoor event that hosted over 150 people, among them producers, exporters, consultants, providers of cherry production-related products and supplies and authorities.
“With Cherry Day CAPCI wishes to dedicate a day, two days for the whole Argentine cherry industry to come together. When I speak of the industry I don’t just mean producers and exporters, but also all the service companies, supply providers, product providers; who all form the Argentinean cherry network. In these meetings we don’t just generate commercial exchanges, but also connections, and the best thing about these relationships is that they can lead to situations of high trust, and that relationship, which is much more than a commercial one, strengthens the development of cherries in Argentina,” said CAPCI General Manager Aníbal Caminiti.
The day included three fieldwork activities, the first one at the Extraberries Estate: “There, we were able to see the productive unit of one of the company’s fields. Today there are 240 hectares in production, distributed through Chubut and Río Negro, and in this field we were able to see the varietal scheme with early varieties such as Royal Dawn, Santina, Lapins; new choices because we are in a reconversion stage, changing our varieties; and we were also able to see the coverage system for protection from the rain and rootstocks for the exchange and crown in varieties like Frisco and Lapins,” detailed Nicolás Jiménez, Administrator at Extraberries’ Chimpay Business Unit.
Jiménez also spoke of the event’s importance: “It has been very positive, very well-attended, the production engine is still relevant and even with all the problems we have at a macro level, we still have resources and companies that continue to contribute to the sector.”
The field day also included a visit to a second estate, Emelka, where it was possible to walk through the orchards and get to know the onsite nursery where plants are being prepared from Chilean rootstocks, thanks to a conjoint effort by SAG and its Argentine equivalent SENASA.
“We have 32 hectares of cherries in one field and 10 in another, we have traditional orchards on the rootstock Santa Lucía 64 and trends are skewing toward future varieties. We also have nurseries, which allow us to go to more compact areas on more restrictive varieties such as Gisela 6 and Gisela 12; we imported some rootstocks from Chile last year and we already have some grafted plants which will allow us to have finished plants by next season. So we want to go for more compact canopies, high density ones, more pedestrian-friendly canopies; which will all allow us to lower the biggest costs in pruning and harvesting,” explained Julio Dijón, Primary Production Manager at Emelka.
Also partaking in the field day was Río Negro’s Secretary of Fruit Farming, Facundo Fernández; the local authority spoke of cherry production in Argentina and stressed how important Cherry Day is for the industry.
“Cherries today, even though Argentina doesn’t have such a great volume, are an iconic product, because we have a climate that presents an abundance of water, it is dry, with several daylight hours; ideal for cherry production. Today we have a very small production, however it is aimed toward a premium market. (Production) is in an area in the province’s center that is currently greatly developed around agriculture and has many free hectares that are being irrigated yet they are not yet cropped, so we think there will be much growth. Regarding this event, we celebrate any gathering that is technical and based upon exchange, here are all these companies that are producing in our area, supply providers, packaging providers, logistics providers; so having this type of gathering three times a year is enriching to us all and we celebrate and support it from the province’s government,” the authority ensured.
Avium’s Technical Coordinator, Bruno Tapia, participated in both Cherry Day events; in the first he gave a talk regarding the situation that was experienced in Chile regarding PNRSV, and in the second he visited all the different estates.
“It’s an instance in which several connections between producers and providers in the Argentine industry are generated, with a very warm relationship emerging, with great talks on the first day, and today there’s this field day where we were able to visit three different estates and see their realities; I believe their concerns are the same we had several years ago, but they are valid considering what they are currently going through, which is adapting to how the industry is evolving. For example, we see problems we have had to face in the past, such as workforce scarcity. I also think this will affect them at some point, and that is also why they are trying to innovate with new education systems, new varieties, new patterns. That’s how the presence of Chilean companies becomes relevant in this new edition of Cherry Day,” Tapia stated.
Finally, the event ended at the Ceco Estate, where several subjects were discussed on-site: irrigation, new varieties and UFO conduction systems (Upright Fruiting Offshoots) which imply planting the tree at a 45º incline generating a fruit wall, which optimizes workforce efficiency.