Nutrition in the cultivation of cranberry and its influence on the quality of the fruit

The cranberry has become, over the last decade, one of the most coveted fruits in the world. And it is that data from organizations linked to its production and export account for the increase in its consumption and the valuation it receives in international markets.

This rage is due, to a large extent, to the properties that this fruit possesses, so the demand for a fresh, better tasting, firmer product has become the most challenging aspect of its harvest.

In this sense, the planning that precedes the establishment of the crop becomes vital, because this is where the essential aspects that will eventually yield favorable or adverse results start. Within this line you can mention the preparation of the soil, choice of variety and installation of the irrigation system to name a few. Once this is defined and the crop is established, nutritional plans are drawn up.

But what are the factors to consider in the elaboration of nutritional programs to obtain quality blueberries? In this regard, the Dr. Juan Hirzel during your participation in the Second edition of international seminars that will be offered by our organization Blueberries Consulting in the city of Madrid, Spain this next 30 in October.

The event, which will take place at the Meliá Avenida América Hotel, will be favorable for the agronomist to present some practical cases on nutrition programs, as well as relationships between nutrients and cranberry quality.

Mr. Hirzel's intervention is, by far, pertinent, since he has extensive knowledge of the subject. He is a graduate of the University of Talca and has a Master of Science in Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition from the Universidad de Concepción.

Likewise, the Chilean specialist has a Doctorate in Science in Agro-Environmental Technology from the Polytechnic University of Madrid.

He also highlights his collaboration in research projects for the development of methodologies for sectorized management of orchards, application of multispectral image analysis techniques to optimize crops, given his specialization in soil fertility.

Last proposals

According to some researchers, in Chile there is no accurate fertilization program to accurately understand the amount of nutrients needed to grow blueberries of a certain quality.

Such situation, they explain, has been counteracted by the farmers themselves, who independently have had to follow referential guidelines on the harvest of these berries, and still obtain a fruit with an export stamp.

Quoted by the newspaper El Mercurio, Dr. Juan Hirzel suggests that, as far as possible, each producer is able to move towards a system of self-sufficiency, which allows him to have his own measurements and data. The idea, he says, is that with this he knows better the needs of his field and, at the same time, can better project his business for the future.

For the expert, the ideal is to carry out a detailed analysis of the soil in which it is to be cultivated. However, it recognizes that in some cases it is a little uphill due to the complexities of some elements, such as nitrogen.

Faced with this scenario, Hirzel adds that the ideal is to develop studies that involve the incubation of soil samples, for which it would be necessary to simulate the environmental conditions that occur in the orchards (humidity and temperature).

"To carry out this procedure, it is necessary that the samples are incubated for four weeks at 25 ° C and at 80% of the maximum capacity of moisture accumulation, which in turn will allow the biomass to work to the maximum and deliver data more accurate about the potential for nitrogen delivery, "says Dr. Juan Hirzel.

The expert insists that if you want to know what are the nutritional needs of cranberry, it is important then to analyze the fruit itself. It admits that with this fruit it is not easy to perform these tests because it can not be done at any time, since depending on the week of harvest, the indexes vary,

He mentions that there are some indices that interest more because they are more associated with the quality of the fruit. These are the nitrogen-potassium and nitrogen-calcium ratios.


Paúl Rivas González - Blueberries Consulting

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