Nurserymen of Strawberries
The production of the fruit plants is parallel to the trade of fruit: today's consumers, much more than before, demand quality in the fruit they purchase.
Fruit growers and producers of strawberries, nowadays understand that the success of a cultivation largely depends on the quality of the material used, on the plants of strawberries sown: the extrinsic qualities, such as development, the number of branches, the graft, but also the intrinsic qualities of the plants of strawberries, such as the health of materials, the genetic certainty, the compatibility between plants arranged with flower buds already differentiated (for fast set-fruit) and grafts taken from mother plants, carefully controlled and kept, in order to retain the best features of the original clone.
The accuracy toward these characteristics makes the plants of strawberries produced of a high and superior quality, even though, in parallel, this factor has often an effect also on the costs for the consumer.
The high costs for the cultivation today do not allow basic errors by nurserymen of strawberries and by fruit growers in general: it is useless to prepare well the ground, fertlize, provide an irrigation system and pile driving, if the plants do not meet best quality requirements.
Nowadays, for nurserymen of strawberries, plant certification is a guarantee of high standards of quality and health: it is not sufficient to resolve all the problems that arise in the production of strawberries, but, in fruits, the lack of conditions that can compromise the quality and quantity of the production of strawberries is definitely essential for the succes of the cultivation.
Recently, it has developed in the world fruit and vegetable sector, the tendency to produce strawberries in nurseries: building repository of basic materials, "thermotherapy" cells, "isolation greenhouses", fields of mother plants, centres for the meristematic multiplication for the production of strawberries are just some of the steps for the production of strawberries in nurseries. The results are fruits from certified plants free from viruses.
In Italy, already in the early Eighties, the region Emilia Romagna, began the procedures for the voluntary certification of fruit plants and strawberry plants; in the meantime began its activities the C.A.V., (Centro Attivita Vivaistiche - Nursery Activity Centre), the interprofessional body responsible for carrying out, together with the regional O.M.P. (Osservatorio per le Malattie delle Piante -Observatory for Plant Diseases), the entire process of voluntary certification of fruit plants. Finally, in the Nineties, the multiple needs of the nursery sector and of the entire Italian fruit and vegetable sector prompted government authorities to seek a cooperative relationship with CIVITALIA, interprofessional body, specially created by major nurserymen organizations (also nurserymen of strawberries) and by fruit and vegetable producers, to start the "national certification of fruit plants" for a long time advocated, in order to put the national nursery at par with that of the other Eu countries producing certified fruit and vegetables.
In Italy, in the sector of strawberries, the production of certified plants has shown a steady increase, thanks to the continuous introduction of new varieties and new grafts: from the point of view of nursery, a growth path, in terms of cultivated area (approximately 500 HA) and quatities produced, has been embarked.
Obtaining licenses to propagate varieties, patented by the most important sources of research and testing worldwide, has also led to compliance with specific duties and conduct in keeping with international rules to which Italy has adhered with some delay.
This membership, however, has allowed agreements to have the exclusive right for the most famous varieties of strawberries obtained from the University of California, still today of global importance, as well as for many other varieties of strawberries.
The varieties of strawberries suitable for the nursery include a very broad spectrum.
For the production of strawberries in nurseries, nurserymen use above these varieties:
- ANITA: junebearing variety of strawberries, with good levels of production, good flesh tesxture and a high refraptometric grade. Alone represents 50% of the junebearing plants of strawberries produced.
- SPLENDOR: new variety of strawberries, resulting from the program for the development of varieties of Plant Sciences & Berry Genetics; this particolar variety of strawberries was chosen in the testing fields of Spain and California among a great number of selections. It is a junebearing, short-day variety; its cultivation suits very well to the Mediterranean climate: the South of Spain and of Italy, the south of Greece and the North of Marocco are therefore ideal areas for the production of this variety of strawberries.