According to data from the Ciren-Odepa Fruit Cadastre of July 2019, the area of fruit trees in the Chilean region of Ñuble has increased by 31.4%, from 10,792 hectares in 2016 to 14,184 hectares in 2019. In Chile, fruit growing currently exceeds 342,000 hectares, with a significant increase in the area devoted to species such as cherry, with more than 38,000 hectares; blueberry, with more than 18,000 hectares; and European hazelnut, which exceeds 24,000 hectares.
Blueberry plantations in Ñuble stand out with 4,023.6 hectares and a growth of 17.3%, accounting for 21.9% of all blueberry crops in the country. They are followed by hazelnut crops with 2,943.53 hectares and a 287% growth. The cherry is the third most planted fruit in the region with 1,600.28 hectares. It is followed by walnut and raspberry crops with 1,419.81 and 1,419.81 hectares, and a growth of 31% and 3%, respectively.
The Cadastre also highlighted the 34% decrease in the area of kiwis, which went from 460 to 303 hectares. According to Ciren authorities, this drop is mainly due to the PSA, which led many producers in the south-central area to uproot trees, as well as to the lower prices obtained in the destination markets.
The document highlights that 75.4% of the surface of fruit trees in the Ñuble region are irrigated by drip systems; followed by furrow irrigation with 12.5%, micro-sprinklers with 10.9%, and other irrigation systems with 1.2%. Coincidentally, the drip system is used by the main fruit trees in the area, such as cranberry (3,999.50 ha), hazelnut (2,755.40 ha), cherry (1,073 ha), raspberry (698.8 ha), walnut (655.4 ha), and red apple trees (342.1 ha).
Cranberry is the main fruit species planted in the communes of Chillan, Chillan Viejo, Pinto, San Ignacio, Yungay, Cobquecura, Coelemu, Portezuelo, Coihueco, San Carlos, and San Nicolas.
In terms of production according to the planted hectares, of those reported (53% of the total), blueberry registered 40,548.6 tons, 67.6% of which are exported, 2% are sent to the internal market, and 30.4% are allocated to agribusiness.