Irena is confirming itself as an excellent cherry variety to be paired with Regina. It allows for perfect pollination and, as both varieties are similar, they can be harvested together.
Paolo Laghi from Battistini Vivai confirms that "cherry cultivation is expanding especially in Eastern Europe thanks to big foreign investors."
"Irena is excellent not only as pollinator for Regina, but also from a productive point of view. The fact that the two have similar characteristics - ripening, stalk length, flesh quality - means they can be harvested together."
Another peculiarity is the extreme sweetness, between 16 and 19° Brix. Average grades vary between 28 and 32 depending on the production. Generally, to obtain an excellent result, 20% of Irena and 80% of Regina are planted alternating a row of pollinator every 3 rows of trees to be pollinated. Alternatively, a chessboard layout can be used.
"Irena was selected in the Czech Republic for intensive cultivation predisposed to covers - anti-rain generally combined with anti-hail covers or total covers against Drosophila. Density varies between 660 plants and 1500 plants per hectare for superintensive types."
It is essential to have irrigation water available for high-quality cherry cultivation. If it is lacking, it is still possible to obtain good results using vigorous rootstocks that need little water and employ low-density cultivation methods.
"Vast-scale cherry cultivation is developing especially in those countries with low labor costs but still has good margins in Italy, especially when it is possible to choose the variety, cultivation method and density most suitable to the territory."
Over the next few weeks, Battistini Vivai will take part to fairs and events all over the world (see image above) so as to meet existing and potential clients.