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Huelva, Andalusia

Spain: Berry acreage up 16% while strawberries remain stable

The Association of Producers and Exporters of Strawberries from Huelva (Freshuelva) estimated that the total acreage for berries (raspberries, blackberries and blueberries) for the 2013/2014 campaign will grow by around 16%, reaching a total of 2,520 hectares in the entire province. Meanwhile, the acreage devoted to strawberries remains stable, with an increase of approximately 2%, reaching 6,980 hectares.

Dry weather and hot temperatures had a significant impact during the strawberry planting stage, causing many plants to die. Producers are looking forward to the arrival of rains, which are beneficial for the plants' rooting. Greenhouses and macro-tunnels are currently being covered in plastic to protect the plants from cold temperatures during the winter.

More berries
The increase in the acreage for red fruits is due, in part, to the growing popularity of blueberries and blackberries. The former has seen a 19% increase in the acreage, reaching 1,150 hectares. This will not have an immediate effect on production volumes, as blueberry bushes only start bearing fruit three years after being planted.

Meanwhile, the acreage for blackberries has increased by around 22%, from 57 to 70 hectares. This is the result of a strategy for diversification and introduction of new varieties.

As for raspberries, the acreage has grown by around 14% compared to the previous campaign, reaching a total of 1,300 hectares. 

The three berries consequently consolidate as a good alternative to strawberries in Huelva western coast.

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