This post includes excerpts from an article on FreshFruitPortal.com titled "There are no 'normal years' for Chilean blueberries." To read the full article, please go to http://www.freshfruitportal.com/2013/01/22/there-are-no-normal-years-for-chilean-blueberries/
It’s been a difficult year for blueberries in Chile where unusual weather before a harvest has damaged products. In an article on FreshFruitPortal.com, Fall Creek’s Cort Brazelton provides insights into these challenges and the importance of staying ahead of the curve in technology, genetics and professionalization.
“This is a hard year because we had a tough freeze in the south which is bizarre, and even stranger is having rains in places like Chillan in the middle of the season,” he says.
“But the reality is, I can’t remember a completely normal year in the last five years anywhere in the world, so there isn’t a normal anymore.”
Brazelton also mentions that these weather situations are not just an issue in Chile, they exist globally. What growers in Chile will have to decide is what kind of infrastructure investments they can make to minimize damage from unexpected weather. This could be through tunnels, frost protection, rain protections, misting coolers, evaporative cooling systems, or most importantly new tools available like genetics with fruit that is firmer.
“The opportunity is there because Chilean growers are so innovative and some of the best growers in the world live in Chile, they have to take these positions in the technologies, systems and genetics that increase their ability to handle these weather problems,” says Brazelton.
It’s clear that weather can always provide issues to the grower of this high antioxidant berry but what can be controlled is how growers and plants react to the weather.
“I don’t have all the answers. What I do know is it’s been a tough year so far, and this will happen again and again and again because we farm outside, we don’t farm in warehouses,” says Brazelton.
To read the full article titled “There are no ‘normal years’ for Chilean blueberries,” go to: http://www.freshfruitportal.com/2013/01/22/there-are-no-normal-years-for-chilean-blueberries/