Spain: Strawberry acreage expected to drop by 10% in 2015

With the completion of the planting stage for the 2014/2015 strawberry season, the total acreage for all red fruits in the province of Huelva amounts to 9,460 hectares, compared to the 9,500 hectares planted last season.

The Association of Producers and Exporters of Strawberries from Huelva, Freshuelva, has reported that the growth in the number of hectares planted with raspberries, blueberries and blackberries contrasts with the decline experienced by strawberries, which is the result of strong competition with the production of other countries and the search for alternatives by growers to tackle the declining profitability of their crops.

Strawberry plantings have thus dropped 9.2%, going from 6,980 hectares last year to 6,340 hectares this season, according to data provided by the companies associated to Freshuelva. These figures show that the acreage is going back to the levels registered in 2011 and 2012. By contrast, raspberry, blueberry and blackberry plantings have grown by an average 25%.

To be precise, this season there will be 1,560 hectares of raspberries, compared to the 1,300 planted last year, which represents an increase of 20%. In case of blackberries, the acreage will go from 70 to 90 hectares; an increase of 28.6%. As for blueberries, the acreage has grown by 27.8%, from 1,150 to 1,470 hectares, although it should be noted that blueberry plants only become commercially productive three years after the planting.



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