The chestnut harvest has started in Corsica. And despite the drought and the presence of cynips, the season looks promising.
Jean-François Giudicelli, who manages 12 hectares of chestnut trees in Valle-d’Orezza (Castagniccia), has just started harvesting. “The first step is to take them out to harvest all the chestnuts that are on the land, especially those outside. The land is quite open, with cows and pigs, so the priority is to gather those. Then, we will move on to the closed areas.”
For Hector Giudicelli, it is time to assess the situation. Despite the small calibers, there are quite a lot of chestnuts. Thanks to the release of Torymus to fight against the cynips, the season was saved. “Last year, the cynips situation had already improved. But the pollination was bad due to a rainy, cold and foggy month of June. The flowering was amazing but had not produced anything. This year, we had flowering and production, despite the drought.”
The presence of cynips in Corsica has reduced the harvests dramatically (from 17 tons to 3 tons after the arrival of the pest in 2011). The two chestnut growers are hoping to reach about 10 tons this year.