Huelva's Strawberry Producers and Exporters Association, Freshuelva, estimates that for the 2012-2013 campaign the acreage for the growing of berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries) will grow by 7%, resulting in a total of 8,991 hectares in the entire province. The strawberry production is expected to reach 300,000 tonnes; 6.7% more than last season.
The information comes from Freshuelva's partnered firms, which represent 95% of the sector. The planting stage developed and finished without major incidents. During the first part of this period the weather was extremely hot and dry, but in the final stages rains, which are necessary for the strengthening of the plant's roots, finally arrived.
Now the macro-tunnels and greenhouses are being covered with plastic, which will preserve the plant during the winter, protecting it against low temperatures.
The increase in the number of red fruit hectares was due, in part, to the greater importance of blueberries and blackberries. The former's acreage has increased by 24.06%, although this increase in the acreage is not directly proportional to the rise in production, as this is a type of crop that only starts bearing fruit three years after being planted.
Meanwhile, blackberry growing has increased by 14%, while the number of hectares for raspberry growing has fallen by 5%, down to 1,140 hectares. Thus, forest fruits consolidate once again this season as a good alternative to strawberry growing.