Haygrove: “Volumes are good, we will pick around 650 tonnes of cherries this season”

Haygrove: “Volumes are good, we will pick around 650 tonnes of cherries this season”

The cherry harvest at Haygrove, based in Hereford, England started in June, it was around two weeks later than a ‘normal’ year due to an unseasonably cold Spring.

“We had a late start to the cherry season, but the heat in June brought the crop forward leading to a condensed season,” said Douw Kruger, Cherry Manager at Haygrove.

Many cherry growers in Kent had low volumes this season and growers in the Midlands saw a reduction in the volumes of the Kordia variety but Haygrove yields have performed well. Haygrove grows cherries across 7 sites in two regions of Herefordshire – north and south, the early cherries come from the sites near Ledbury and the later ones from Kington on the border with Wales.

“Volumes are good, we will pick around 650 tonnes of cherries this season, we grow all of our cherries in tunnels and continuously innovate tunnel structures on our own farms which are then sold to growers all over the world via our Growing Systems business.”

Most of the world’s cherries are not protected, but the question is, will this change in the future? To cover is expensive, but a good crop has a high value. The weather is becoming increasingly unpredictable, and a good metal structure lasts more than 25 years.

“As well as protecting the crop from rain or sun, light frosts and wind, covering can advance production by one to four weeks, which can be very helpful in terms of pricing, labour and packing, spreading overheads as well as risk. Indeed, a three-week advance in crop can pay for a tunnel in under a year in a country like Chile, as in many countries, while a few wet days at the wrong time can be a disaster.

“With more extreme weather predicted worldwide and cherry orchards lasting for 15 years, covering seems wise. We have already seen this move accelerate in the berry industry and on many other high-value crops.”

For more information:
Tel: +44(0)1531 633659

Source: Fresh Plaza


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