Entering the market earlier with early varieties of outstanding quality is an undeniable advantage in the cherry sector; just as much as being able to guarantee that the production won't be affected by any weather adversity. Cherry producer and international cherry growing consultant Javier de Pablo Camarasa, of Frutotech, has achieved this thanks to his collaboration with Invernaderos IMA-MSC, which has optimized its structures specifically for the cultivation of cherry trees.
"Until now, greenhouse cherry producers had relied on heating systems to bring the start of the harvest forward, but after the rise in fuel and energy prices, and the impact on prices of the fruit arriving from other origins, heating ceased to be a profitable technique," said Mikel Perez, of Invernaderos IMA-MSC.
"That's why we switched from multi-span greenhouses to a gothic arch system, which is simpler in terms of technology, but covers every need for physical protection of the trees from rain and hail."
"To avoid humidity problems, we have installed a gutter that collects rainwater and prevents both the tree from getting wet and water from accumulating on the ground, thus preventing the fruit from cracking. Moreover, the greenhouses have two side windows protected with mesh for better ventilation that can be easily moved manually, and which can be automated in farms that have electricity and could even be connected to temperature, wind or rain sensors."
"Another advantage of our greenhouses is their height," says Mikel. "The arch rises up to 5 meters, so we get a very large volume of air inside, which allows for greater thermal inertia and better control of relative humidity. It also allows the use of the machines needed to carry out any treatments on the trees."
"Gothic arches, moreover, give us flexibility when it comes to choosing the kind of plastic we want to use. For example, by using diffuse plastic, we can improve interior lighting and reduce the impact of shading, thereby achieving more uniform fruit ripening."
With the new structures of Invernaderos IMA-MSC, Javier de Pablo has managed to bring the production of the earliest varieties of his super-intensive cherries forward by approximately 15 days, "reaching the market with a better quality than what was on offer, and with a much larger size. In fact, this has been more noticeable this year, because the size of the cherries has been reduced in general due to the drought," he says. "It is true that the prices of these first fruits, ranging between 15 and 18 Euro, per kilo, are very interesting, but what matters most is that we enter the market with fruit that is free of cracking or other defects, to ensure constant average prices from the beginning."
"A super-intensive system cannot be exposed to risks," says the cherry growing consultant. "As a grower, I am very satisfied with the results of the IMA greenhouse. Moreover, it is also allowing my customers to learn about the advantages of protected cherry production."
Invernaderos IMA-MSC, based in Pamplona, has been offering a comprehensive service to farms for 25 years and its structures are already present in 50 countries. "In addition to all the advantages they offer, the simplicity of the structures makes our greenhouses easy to assemble, while also helping reduce costs. It is certainly possible for the producers to install them themselves," concludes Mikel.
For more information:
Javier de Pablo Camarasa
Tel.: +34 630 87 07 55