Specialized sour cherry orchard – yields and profits
Growing sour cherries can be a valid alternative source of income, but only if professional criteria are used. Ivo Piombini is an entrepreneur from Formigine (Modena) who has been growing this fruit for years. “Traditional Modena sour cherries have been part of our range for more than 20 years, but in 2015 we decided to add another hectare in collaboration with the University of Modena and Reggio.
Amarena del Rio, the new variety currently being tested in Piombini
The experimental orchard was set up in 2015 on approximately one hectare, comparing micro-propagated non-grafted Amarena del Rio plants in three different layouts: 4.0m x 1.0m (2,500 trees/ha), 4 .0m x 1.5m (1,600) and 4.0m x 2.0m (1,250).
What are the results after 7 years? We talked about it with Stefano Lugli from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, the creator of this orchard.
“In terms of production, high density works well with sour cherries, you just have to choose the right variety. We opted for a Montmorency selection called Amarena del Rio, characterized by strong hardiness, compact habits and great qualities. The orchard consistently produces yields for five years: around 15-18 t/ha/year for higher densities (2,500 trees/ha), 13-15 t/ha/year for intermediate densities (1,650 trees/ha) and 10-12 t/ha/year for the lowest (1,250 trees/ha)”.
Ivo Piombini in the orchard
Another positive aspect is the possibility of mechanising the various operations. “For a few years we have used mechanical topping and hedging. This year and in the future we will use an integrated strategy with the option of alternating (every two years or every three years) mechanical (non-selective ) with manual (selective) pruning in order to obtain a better final quality. The next step will also be the mechanization of harvesting operations.”
Azienda Piombini is equipped with a stoning system. “We started because we needed to have products for our business and our processed products, then we became a reference for the local territory and beyond. Ice cream parlors and pastry shops looking for high quality products also contact.cherry jam is very popular and last year we also introduced lambrusco wine and sour cherry jam.In addition, fried sour cherries are a unique product that combines tradition and innovation.
Stoning of Amarene del Rio
But how profitable is a high-density orchard? “With productions of around 15 t/ha and a selling price for quality hand-picked products of around 4-5 €/kg, it is easy to take stock. Gross salable production is 60 to 70,000 Euro/ha, and the net income is between 25 and 35,000 Euro/ha If the harvest were mechanized, we would easily reach 50,000 Euro net per hectare.
For more information
Azienda Agricola Piombini Ivo
Via Bassa Paolucci, 44
41043 – Formigine Casino (MO)
Such. +39 059 8678208