Tomorrow, August 29th, the “Southern Zone Fruit Meeting: Challenges and Projections” will take place in Los Ángeles, southern Chile, focusing on cherries, blueberries, and hazelnuts.
Regarding cherries, Isabel Quiroz, Executive Director of iQonsulting, will kick off the event by discussing the present and future of the global cherry market. Following that, Christian Gallegos, Co-founder and Technical Director of CropSolutions, the event organizers, will explain about varietal renewal and the options being tested in Chile for the Ñuble, Biobío, and Araucanía regions. Finally, Juan Pablo Subercaseaux, a Professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, will address labor, migration, and sustainability in fruit cultivation.
During the event, producers will be presented with varietal alternatives for the southern zone that have yielded positive results in terms of fruit quality and could also offer a price differential.
“This is an area where fruit cultivation is growing significantly. There are still affordable lands, we have water, workforce, and a good climate. I believe fruit cultivation will increasingly move towards Ñuble, Biobío, and Northern Araucanía. Therefore, this meeting aims to provide information and alternatives to producers, generating discussions and analyses on how to grow, which varieties, combinations, and management systems are most applicable for the region,” emphasized Christian Gallegos.
The advisor and specialist provided a preview of tomorrow’s presentation: “With Lapins and Regina, we’re in the peak production curve in weeks 50, 51, and 52. In northern Chile, early varieties are being developed, aiming to harvest before Santina. Hence, the only way to stand out in the southern zone, is to try to have a variety that offers a price differential, which in this case is Kordia and Reinier.”
“In this context, we’re observing a variety that is a cross between Kordia and Regina, called Areko, from the German program JKI. There are already several orchards planted in the south of Chile. It has yielded excellent results because it links the setting coefficient – that is, the productive level of Regina, a fairly fruitful variant – and at the same time, the best organoleptic attributes in terms of caliber and shape of Kordia. In simple terms, we could say that it’s a Kordia with a good setting level, a fruit very similar to Kordia, which performs well in this area. Its harvest date is close to Lapins, depending on the region, approximately between December 10th and 15th. The harvest date is quite similar to Kordia; in fact, it can be cross-pollinated with Kordia by 50%, meaning two rows of Kordia and two rows of Areko, as well as with Lapins. Therefore, it becomes a very appealing variety for the region, seeking that price differential,” Gallegos detailed.
Additionally, there will be a discussion on the varieties from the Unibo program from the University of Bologna, which includes Sweet Saretta. “It’s very similar to Lapins, apparently a bit firmer based on what I’ve seen in Europe, but for us in Chile, it doesn’t have a significant impact as it aligns with the production curve during the industry’s peak weeks,” he added.
Finally, a program from the company Cerasus will be addressed, which includes “extremely late” varieties, according to the specialist, 15 to 20 days later than Regina. Cerasus’ program is closed, and the variety is called Cerasina.