The planting phase has recently been completed in the province of Huelva, with a total of 11,464 hectares planted for the 2018/2019 season. This is 2.80% more than the 11,145 hectares of the previous campaign.
The Association of Producers and Exporters of Strawberries from Huelva, Freshuelva, reports that based on the data provided by the associated companies, the acreage devoted to strawberries has increased minimally, by 3.50%. In total, the strawberry acreage has gone from 5,890 hectares last season to 6,095 hectares this time.
In the case of blueberries, there has been a 7% growth, from 2,858 to 3,059 hectares. The fruit therefore consolidates its sustained expansion in the province of Huelva.
The agrarian organization has verified that the latter two crops have a greater projection in the area of the West Coast of Huelva, with early varieties that become productive in the first months of the year.
Meanwhile, there has been a 3% drop in the acreage devoted to raspberries, which has gone from 2,212 hectares last season to 2,150 hectares this time.
In the case of blackberries, the acreage is back to the level recorded two years ago, with 160 hectares planted. It has thus been reduced by 20 hectares compared to the previous campaign.
Freshuelva said that these data confirm the sector's commitment to crop diversification, guaranteeing the presence of Huelva berries in the markets practically for nine months a year.
This year's planting phase has been marked by the post-planting rains, which have caused the loss of strawberry plants in some 90 hectares of the West Coast area. In fact, according to the first estimates made by Agroseguros, the losses caused by heavy storms amount to more than 300,000 Euro.
Blockades in France
Freshuelva has also shown its concern about the delays and difficulties experienced in the export of raspberries, mainly as a result of the road blockades in France, organized to protest against the increase in the tax burden.
Although this time of the year is not the most active when it comes to the marketing of berries from Huelva, it is taking a very negatively toll on the autumn raspberry exports. The fruit is struggling to reach its destination and sales are being cancelled, with the consequent losses for Huelva-based exporters.
Freshuelva hopes the situation to be solved soon, since passing through France is required for the transit of Huelva's red fruits; otherwise, the consequences could be very serious.