World’s production of raspberries and strawberries
Most of raspberries come from Europe
The world’s production of raspberries between 2014 – 2016 was from 420,000 to 440,000 tons. 57% of those fruits came from Europe, 29% from North America, and 7% from South America. On the old continent, Poland is the largest manufacturer of raspberries. Poland’s production is approx. 100,000 tons. Almost 100,000 tons is produced by Serbia, Spain – 17,000 tons, and the United Kingdom – 16,000 tons. In Serbia, raspberries are produced mainly for food processing, in Poland however, plantations are kept for industry purposes and for dessert fruits market. British people relied only on cultivation of fruits so they can be consumed fresh.
What influences the profitability of production
Technology of cultivation of second class varieties must be easy and cheap so the production is profitable. Plantations of fruits for preserves purposes are developed in traditional system of cultivation – in soil and with no cover. They are characterized by high fruitfulness, resistance to climate conditions, high content of "Brix" extract that determines sweet taste. Farmers also want their plantation to be best adapted for combine harvesting, which may decrease the cost of harvesting even four times.
Cultivation of species bearing fruits on two years old sprouts (e.g "Willamette” species in Serbia) requires plants in hedges, where sprouts are attached to supports. By planting species bearing fruits on one year old sprouts, such as “Polka”, “Polana” (harvested in Poland), or “Heritage” (in Serbia), producers significantly decrease the costs of cultivation, as those plants do not need any supports. What is more, after harvesting, sprouts are mowed. Thus, the risk of plant infestation by diseases and pests is decreased, and number of chemical treatment used is lower. Due to drought period in recent years, many cultivators install also irrigation systems for field crops to avoid damage.
What dessert fruits should be like
Dessert fruits must often be characterized by very high quality: light color, shine, equal size and shape; great firmness and of course good taste. That is why, these crops are kept under covers (tunnels, roofs, greenhouses), or “in soil” or “soilless” system – in containers with coco or peat substrate with irrigation and precise fertilization ensured.
To keep fruits supplies to customers uninterrupted, manufacturers use different techniques to elongate the fruit supply on the market. Harvest steering relies on the use of species bearing fruits on two years old sprouts of different ripening period (spring and early summer production) and the use of species that repeat fruit bearing of different ripening period (crops from summer to autumn). The so called “long cane” cuttings are also used. They are of fruit bearing type on two years old sprouts produced in a year preceding fruit bearing in a way ensuring flower buds on the whole sprout. During winter, they are kept in a cooler, in the temperature approx. -2C. Then, they can be taken out from there from February to April, and planted in greenhouses or tunnels for spring picking.
Thanks to those technologies, fruits on the market of dessert fruits can be accessible from May to October or even to November.
Dozens of factors affect the taste of a strawberry
World’s production of strawberries in 2010 was 6.6 million tons, and in 2015 was increased to 8 million tons. The largest number of those fruits comes from Asia – 49 %. 20% of world’s production is from Europe, and 23% - from North and Middle America. Turkey (375,000 tons) and Spain (334,000 tons) are the largest European producers of strawberries. Poland (average annual production of 198,000 tons) and Germany are right behind them.
In Poland, second class fruits are produced mostly. In other countries, strawberries for dessert fruits market are mainly planted. Production of second class fruits is made by means of "in soil" technology, without any bedding, but with the use of straw that protects the fruits from getting dirty, and occasional irrigation. “Senga Sengana” is the most commonly planted variety, however due to the poor quality of fruits it gets more often replaced with other species.
Besides cultivation technology, good quality of fruits is also caused by the well selected species and type of cuttings. The simplest technology includes cultivation in soil, on beddings of unwoven fabric, raised beds (in heavy soil, in order to reduce the diseases of roots caused by drainage of root area) or flat, covered with perforated film or unwoven fabric during spring, to speed up the process of vegetation and thus, fruit bearing.
In order to get earlier yields, cultivation under covers is also used: in greenhouses, in containers with substrates, in high tunnels in containers, or in short tunnels in soil. Harvesting of those fruits is possible regardless any whether conditions, such as rain or fog. Fruits are beautiful, smelling, characterized by great firmness, shine, taste and smell.
Species that bear fruits traditionally in June and that repeat fruit bearing (they can bear fruits in June, and after 3 – 4 weeks of break, they bear fruits again until ground frost) are planted under covers (tunnels, greenhouses, roofs).
The best cuttings are used to be planted in containers. Usually, farmers choose “frigo” type. During the winter, they are kept in coolers, in the temperature of -2⁰C, until the time of planting. It usually lasts from February to June. Other types that are commonly used include “tray plant” (from pots) or “multicrown” that bear a lot of fruits of good quality already in the first year of cultivation.