For the past 4 years, Vivero Los Viñedos has been testing different cherry tree varieties in different areas of Peru, which could have the potential to grow this crop. Jose Luis Sanchez Ramos, the head of Fruit Production of the company, said that, in the future, the company would add cherries to its agricultural development product portfolio.
The company tested 7 varieties (Lapins, Santina, Regina, Brooks, Kordia, Skeena, and Sweet Heart) in La Joya, Arequipa, with different patterns. These tests have allowed researchers to conclude that the Lapins, Santina, and Sweet Heart varieties have the best adaptability so far. "We still haven't ruled out the Regina and Kordia varieties," Sanchez Ramos stated.
The Lapins variety has adapted very well, he said. “While it's true that cherries require 400 to 600 hours of cold, we have managed to accumulate more than 15 hours below 7.2° C in Arequipa and we have seen a good response because the plants acclimatize to the area where they are growing. That's why we believe one of our alternatives is to develop cherry crops in the highlands of Peru."
Lapins is a self-fertile and highly vigorous variety. It has a productive potential of 20 tons per hectare, is very early, has a caliber of 26-28 mm, and is moderately resistant to cracking. In addition, it has a long postharvest life.
The Sweet Heart variety has also adapted very well to the region's conditions. It has a medium-high vigor, requires 600 hours of cold, has a productive potential of 12 to 15 tons per hectare, is very early, yields fruit with a caliber of 26-28 mm, and that have a long postharvest life. "It is a self-fertile variety and it has adapted very well with the Colt pattern," Sanchez Ramos stressed.
The Santina variety (which has already achieved production in Arequipa) is self-fertile, with excellent firmness and postharvest life. It has a productive potential of 15 tons per hectare. They expect to harvest it in November of this year.
Colt and MXM14, the best-adapted patterns
Jose Luis Sanchez said the tests were carried out with different patterns and that they were planning to import other plant materials that contribute to the cultivation of cherries.
He added that, in this regard, they were in a transition stage, that the tests being carried out in the different areas of the country would allow them to discover what pattern is most appropriate for the crop based on weather, soil, and water conditions. "So far, the Colt and MXM14 patterns are the ones that best adapt in the Arequipa area."