A total of 11,145 hectares in Huelva will be destined to berries production this season
The planting phase that recently ended in the Huelva 2017/2018 strawberry season, confirms a total increase of the planted area of 11.12%, compared to the 10,030 hectares planted last year. This season, the sector will allocate to berry cultivation a total of 11,145 hectares.
The Strawberry Producers and Exporters Association of Huelva, Freshuelva, has reported that according to the data provided by the associated companies, the trend regarding the planted area of strawberry has changed. After several seasons where it descended, in 2018 it increases by 9%, and the same occurs with the amount of hectares being cultivated under raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, all of which increase an average of 14.15%.
In this context, the planted area of strawberry has gone from the 5,400 hectares last season, to the current 5,890 hectares. As for raspberries, 2,121 hectares will be planted instead of 1,932 hectares covered last year, which represents an area increase of 14.45% in raspberry production.
In the case of blueberry, the latter will increase from 2,538 to 2,858 planted hectares, which means an increase of 12.50%, but this is considerably lower than the 30% recorded during the previous season. On the other hand, the cultivated area of blackberries increases15.50%, going from 160 to 180 hectares. In this case, new extra-early varieties have been planted, which aim to cover the supply for the first months of the year (January-February) in European markets.
Although the growth of blueberry has slowed down, it has also consolidated as the second berry with regards to the amount of surface planted in the province of Huelva, but it must be taken into account that it is a shrub that starts its commercial production from its third year onwards, meaning that not all plants will go into production this season.
The agrarian organization has verified that these last two crops have a greater impact in the West Coast of Huelva, where several farms from native companies of the area have been put into operation as a result of the lack of irrigation water.
Thus, the planting phase has been completed, but marked by a shortage of rainfall that has not benefited the evolution of strawberry plants in the different production areas of the province and, if the drought continues, it could have consequences in the medium term.
Freshuelva has emphasised that these data confirm that the commitment to crop diversification started in previous seasons has now become established, thus guaranteeing the presence of Huelva berries in the markets practically for nine months the year.