The surface area devoted to blueberry crops has increased by 20% in this new campaign.
The blueberry crop surface area in the 2016/2017 campaign was over 2,500 hectares, 30% more than in the previous season. And there are still some young plantations yet to come into production which, according to the calculations, will increase the current hectares by another 20%.
With this panorama in mind, the manager from Freshuelva, Rafael Domínguez, recommends “serious moderation and caution” when thinking about an extension in hectares, because, “although we know that there is a commercial gap in some months, this is not the case at all times. Therefore, it is important to have variety and the correct installations to be able to conserve them and penetrate the more distant markets.”
Overall surface area
Although at the beginning of October the overall hectares devoted to the cultivation of red berries in the province of Huelva will not be known accurately, everything is pointing towards the fact that the surface area will be similar to that recorded in the 2016-2017 period, where around 10,030 hectares were registered. “If any variations were to be recorded, this could vary by +/- 10%,” the executive explains.
According to indications by the Strawberry Producers and Exporters of Huelva Association, “the current surface area has been consolidated. However, one of the reasons that prevents its growth is that on the plantations where a production diversification has been carried out, the personnel necessary to harvest all the produce that is generated over a relatively short period of time cannot be not guaranteed.”
Domínguez is convinced that in spite of the “good feelings that the strawberry operators have had this year, as they have invoiced 15% more than in the previous year, nobody is going to increase their hectares of strawberry crops. The variation that is recorded will not be substantial; in any case, we always contemplate a range that can be between +/- 5-6% in the specific production of strawberries.”
On this point, at Freshuelva they consider that the current distribution of strawberries in the province of Huelva “is the correct one because it allows a correct marketing of the production.”