20 Mar 2023

Berry technical day in Trento

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On March 15, a hundred producers at the update meeting for the sector berries. Defense and cultivation the focus of the 9th Technical Day of berries.

Technical day dedicated to the defense, management and cultivation of berries that of March 15 in San Michele all'Adige. As stated in the press release, the meeting, which is part of the rich calendar of events organized by the Mach Foundation, called together at the Aula Magna more than a hundred producers and technicians of the sector, in attendance and connected for live streaming, to take stock of the experiments conducted in the field of defense against certain insects, the research activity on strawberries in Alto Adige and the year just gone by.

The cultivated hectares in Trentino amount to about 140 for strawberries, 60 for raspberries, 40 for blackberries, 60 for currants and 150 for the blueberry, with production totalling about 15,000 tons per year.

FEM General Manager Mario Del Grosso Destreri, who spoke at the opening, explained that the technical meeting demonstrates the Technology Transfer Center's commitment to supporting the sector of berries. The sector has had an important development in recent years and contributes to bringing quality and excellence to agriculture in Trentino. The director also highlighted FEM's strong commitment on the scientific research front with genetic improvement activities in the first place, but also the important collaboration with the Laimburg Institute engaged in neighboring South Tyrol to address similar issues plaguing agriculture.

Mario del Grosso Destrieri, director general of the Mach Foundation.
Mario del Grosso Destrieri, director general of the Mach Foundation.

During the meeting, moderated by Tommaso Pantezzi, head of the Fruit Growing Unit and berries of the FEM Technology Transfer Center, the topic of annual monitoring of Drosophila suzukii, which is carried out to control the evolution of populations and enable more effective crop defense, was addressed. It was also seen how climate, particularly in winter, affects its survival. It follows that the increasing mild temperatures in recent years result in higher survival rates during the early stages of the insect's cycle.

Tommaso Pantezzi, head of the Fruit Growing Unit and berries of the FEM Technology Transfer Center.
Tommaso Pantezzi, head of the Fruit Growing Unit and berries of the FEM Technology Transfer Center.

The first two years of the application of biological control of the fruit fly, which has been the main problem for berries and cherry trees for more than 10 years, was then discussed. The release of the specific parasitoid Ganaspis brasiliensis is a lengthy process that involves evaluating the spread and its ability to control the phytophage. As in other regions of Italy, launches are expected to continue for an additional year following ministerial approval for release.

Another topic addressed was new knowledge on strawberry anthomonas, a beetle that not only affects flower buds but also causes damage on fruit. The EMF is committed to identifying the most suitable integrated pest management techniques. In fact, experimental trials using products with repellent action for the insect have been introduced, and most importantly, the presence of parasitoids of the genus Triaspis capable of parasitizing antonomus with high rates has been recorded.

The meeting also discussed strawberry cultivation in the province of Bolzano, which amounts to 90 hectares, mostly still in soil. Progressively, producers are turning to above-ground cultivation, which is more widespread in Trentino. In South Tyrol, the Laimburg Experimentation Center is conducting trials to evaluate varieties best suited to alpine growing environments and more sustainable management. Experiences of strawberry cultivation in intercropping with medicinal plants were also presented to improve the balance of the strawberry garden and to have a better protection of the crop, as well as an important territorial enhancement.

In the last report, an account of the strawberry production season in Trentino was presented, particularly on production trends, which seem to have been influenced by the particular climate of the 2022 season. Along with temperatures, the amount of light radiation, particularly in the 2022 season, was also higher than the average of the past 10 years, so this climatic parameter could also play a role in influencing plant physiology and consequently production trends.

Source: Edmund Mach Foundation

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