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The more kilos of larger calibres, the better margins
Spain: How to obtain a great citrus production in a year like this?
The total citrus production volume in the Region of Valencia will fall by more than 30% due to the impact of heat waves during the spring and summer this year. Many producers could see their margins reduced.
"There are not many varieties with royalties that ensure a high profitability to producers. For that reason, although in recent years many orange or clementine varieties have been very cheap, their producers can get interesting profit margins if they obtain the maximum number of kilos possible," explains the producer and agronomist Carlos Arenes, who has developed an irrigation system that helps in climate control in order to prevent heat stroke and frost, combined with an aerial nutrition system.
"With our cultivation system, with climatic control and aerial nutrition, we achieved an unprecedented increase in production, obtaining good calibres even with all the flowers setting. We make the tree feel strong during the flowers' natural fall period so that as few of them as possible are eliminated," explains the expert. "With this, we obtained productions of 80 tonnes per hectare in the fourth year after the planting of the trees and of 120 tonnes per hectare in the fifth year, and with very good calibres."
"With the climate control system, we can lower the temperature below 18 degrees Celsius when the fruit already has a commercial calibre to allow it to change colour. In Syria, we have been able to lower temperatures from 65 degrees to 18-20 degrees on some pomegranate farms."
Pri 23 variety in late August
Aerial nutrition is very suitable for climates with slightly cooler winters, where plants take longer to assimilate nutrients. "These problems are not as common in citrus production areas such as Huelva, for example. In Valencia, the winters are cooler and the trees suffer more malnutrition, which is tough to overcome during the spring and summer. It is very easy: if the tree is well nourished during the winter, it will 'work' better in the spring, and therefore, it will bear more fruits," points out Carlos Arenes.
For more information:
T: +34 962530388
M: +34 629632886
Publication date: 9/11/2017
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