The project to obtain new cherry varieties that don't require much cold in the Guadalentin Valley, which is being developed at the Lorca Agrarian Demonstration Center within the framework of the Ministry of Agriculture's Training and Technology Transfer Service program, has entered its third year with positive results.
The project is studying a dozen varieties from different breeders with a wide range of harvesting dates to cover different marketing windows.
The exploitation system is semi-intensive and researchers are looking for trees of up to two meters in height that can be harvested from the ground, the ministry reported on Sunday.
During the second year of cultivation, researchers observed the behavior of the different varieties regarding their vigor and adaptation to the study area. The crop has had a good evolution and practically all the varieties have adapted well, the sources added.
There will be no harvest results in the third year, but most of the trees will be formed and researchers will begin to collect harvest data in the fourth year of the study.
One of the main objectives of this project is to seek cultivation alternatives that have fewer water needs and that are attractive to farmers and consumers.
The farmers of the region will be able to check the characteristics and quality of the cherries obtained in the experimental cultivation plot to decide if they want to bet on this crop, which requires fewer man-hours in pruning and harvesting, to improve their profitability.
This initiative has been co-financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food, and the Ministry of Water, Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and the Environment.