"We returned to Italy a few days ago after a visit to Murcia (Spain) to acquire information and discuss, not only with the company that owns the patent, but also with other Spanish producers who grow Summer Prim lemons, so that we can then provide our customers with the right cultivation and business choices," said Umberto Burdieri, a technician at Comercial Gallo, the exclusive licensee in Italy of this cultivar for a limited number of hectares (500 hectares).
Cultivation of Summer Prim in Murcia (Spain). From the left, Aldo Gallo and Umberto Burdieri. Photo taken on 7 June 2021.
Summer Prim is an extra-late variety of lemon that has received a lot of interest from southern Italy in the last 2-3 years, since, thanks to its special organoleptic characteristics, it can allow farmers to extend their commercial calendar without necessarily having to turn to risky and expensive imports in the spring-summer period.
"The plant is very vigorous and productive, with production starting in the third year after the transplant, including rootstocks such as bitter orange, which is the most suitable for this cultivar. The smooth-skinned fruits with a high juice production have a long shelf-life and are therefore ideal for cold storage. One of the main characteristics of this cultivar is that it grows in the middle of the plant and has very large leaves that protect the fruit from sunburn, allowing the lemon to grow well on the plant in summer."
Murcia - Production of a 12-year-old plant
"The plant blossoms in April, just like any other citrus variety, but it has a longer cycle than others. There will be a phase when not only the fruit will be harvested, but also another fruit set. Because Summer Prim is not thorny, we can reduce any damage caused by strong winds or other weather conditions that would cause the fruit to rub against the spines and be damaged.
Murcia - Evidence of ripe fruit with new fruit set
"With regard to the on-site visits in Italy, we visited two farms located in Sicily, one of which is organic and the other conventional. We are talking about crops planted in May 2019, with very interesting agronomic results. After two years from transplanting, the plants have an excellent production and a first fruit set, which will be monitored as it progresses to full maturity (2022)."
(Italy) - Summer Prim plant with first fruit set, transplanting May 2019. Photo taken on 23 June 2021.
"The product ripens when the market has a strong production shortage and a high demand for lemons. In this context, the Summer Prim cultivar reaches its maximum commercial potential, offering the consumer a fresh fruit with premium organoleptic characteristics. The comparison with our Spanish colleagues has been crucial to evaluate and define the best agronomic management techniques to apply to this new long-cycle variety. These comparisons and training enable us to offer our customers specialized agronomic advice.