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First cuts next weekend (Italy)

Open field cherries off to an early start with the Bigarreau variety

"It will be a year of early ripening, even for open-field cherry orchards, given the mild temperatures recorded until a few days ago and for much of the winter. The fruit has reached a very advanced stage of ripening. We will start harvesting the Bigarreau variety next weekend (end of April), which will take place about two weeks earlier than last season, when the first picking took place on 10 May," says Giacomo Giotta (pictured below), owner of the company of the same name in Conversano (Bari - Puglia), which has invested in 20 hectares of cherry trees.

The great interest in cherries was already evident with the first Italian greenhouse crops ready at the beginning of the month, in addition to the Spanish crops that arrived on the markets later at unaffordable prices per kilo for the average consumer. In Apulia, the cherry orchards are in excellent condition and a good campaign is expected in terms of quantity, quality and size, thanks to the absence of cold returns or adverse weather phenomena so far.

"The cherry market seems to be quite lively this year," says the grower. "I believe that demand will increase in the coming days, partly because a satisfactory amount of extra production is visible on the plants. Compared to 2023, yields are higher (about +20-25%), but this increase in production will not fully compensate for the many ex-plantations that have recently occurred in our areas. Some are talking about a thousand hectares less than a year ago. The causes are not only the spread of Drosophila suzukii, but also the severe shortage of labor, and above all, the economic crisis in recent years."

For more information:
Azienda Agricola Giacomo Giotta
[email protected]

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