There is almost nothing left for Chilean exporters and advisors to experience their first productive harvest with new early varieties, a work that has been carried out for years and that is already beginning to show its first results.
Specifically, these are the varieties Nimba cv. and Sweet Aryana®, both of early nature that this year will be presented collectively to recipients and consumers, risking the prestige of both varieties. As for the projected volume, although it is still very low because it is the first production, it will be approximately 3 thousand or 4 thousand kilos per hectare on average, in the case of Sweet Ariana, and in the case of Nimba it could be a little more.
Walter Masman, Agronomist Engineer and consultant specializing in cherry trees, tells us that “we are still in initial knowledge of these new varieties in Chile and their behavior. There are conclusions and results that we are making, given that we do not have that information beforehand. For example, we realize that considering the great accumulation of cold that there was last season with the terrible accumulation of cold that there was this year, Sweet Ariana is a variety that requires cold, and much more than we initially thought, perhaps even more than Santina. “This teaches us how to manage this variety and how to go forward, which is a big challenge.”
Harvest dates and post-export results
Regarding the fruit harvest dates, it is estimated that in the earliest areas this will take place at the end of October and around the first weeks of November, for Nimba and Sweet Aryana respectively. “There will be volumes exported, so the conclusions that we can draw through arrivals, liquidation, and everything that happens from now on with them is very important,” adds Masman.
In this sense, it will be essential to correctly adjust the load to maximum yields that ensure the obtaining of quality fruit, preventing softening due to excess fruit on the tree, which is why the expert warns, growers should avoid falling into the temptation of harvesting in advance, without reaching adequate maturity and expression of quality.
It is an extra early variety, with very good caliber, flavor and productivity. Its harvest is between 16 to 20 days before Santina, that is, the last week of October to the first days of November in the central zone of Chile. One of its main harvest parameters is color. The fruit must be harvested with color 3 and not go beyond color 3.5, because when it reaches 3.5 it will have already dropped between 2 to 3 points of Durofel firmness.
On the other hand, load regulation is one of the most important keys. This is a very productive and load-bearing variety and although it is not self-fertile, it behaves as if it were. To prevent soft fruit (less than 70 Durofel) it is essential to avoid overloading. Fruits with inferior firmness do not meet the requirements of our markets and can be serious for the prestige of this early variety. This is stated by Lorena Pinto, Head of Pome & Cherry Product at ANA Chile®.
Finally, Sweet Aryana is also an early variety, with great firmness and flavor, with excellent post-harvest life and high productivity. Although it has the drawback of its sensitivity to cracking. It is a type of self-fertile cherry tree that offers rapid entry into production.
As for its harvest, it should be done when it reaches a dark red color, and in terms of flavor, it stands out with 17-20° Brix, offering a high level of sugars that, together with its medium acidity, provides a very good or excellent flavor.