Murcia is making an important varietal reconversion in table grapes

Spain: Itumfifteen, the new grape variety tolerant to powdery mildew

The world of grapes, as in many other products, tends toward increasingly healthy products and having fewer residues, as evidenced by the growth in demand for organic grapes in recent seasons. As a result, the Murcia Grape Research and Technology Society, ITUM, in December 2016, requested the registration of the new Itumfifteen variety, whose main characteristic is its tolerance to powdery mildew, in the CPVO. 


"The biggest treatments performed on table grapes are fungicides to fight the powdery mildew. This variety is tolerant to this disease and it is one important step towards reducing pesticide residues and having an agricultural sector that is more sustainable", stated Manuel Tornel, a researcher at IMIDA. "Itumfifteen is a variety with an early ripening date - in mid-July - a muscat flavor and a natural red color that does not require hormonal treatments. This variety allowed us to recover the traditional muscatel flavor, which had been lost in the early varieties," said the researcher. 

Until recently, itum's partner companies already had some samples of this plant material as part of its experimental phase. Now, it's being planted in greater quantities, and starting 2018 there will be a marketable production of Itumfifteen. They also recently registered the new Itumsixteen variety, a medium-season seedless white grape that is very productive.

This variety, like the other varieties of this institution, can be grown and reproduced in Spain, in several South American countries, South Africa, and in Australia. In February, the president of ITUM Fausto Carrillo and researcher Manuel Tornel presented the new varieties in Chile, after which ten companies in the country are planting them in an experimental way, as in Peru. 


10% of Murcia's production is already of the ITUM varieties
The partners of ITUM, which are the own producing and exporting companies of Murcia, already have more than 600 hectares of commercial production of varieties developed by this institute, i.e. more than 10% of the 6,000 hectares devoted to grape production in the region.

"Producers are gradually carrying out a varietal conversion to this program's varieties, while the surface devoted to table grapes in Murcia remains stable. In the last five years, producers have been getting rid of other varieties, such as the Crimson and Red Globe, due to coloring problems and they have changed them for other varieties that do not require ethylene or abscisic acid treatments, such as Itumeight, Itumnine or Itumtwelve. The Itumfive variety, a late white seedless grape that is used for the New Year's grapes, is also very successful," says Manuel Tornel.

Itum's 16 varieties are identified, among other factors, by their crisp texture and high productivity. 

For more information:
Manuel Tornel
T: +34 968770136

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