In August 2016, another training trip to Italy was made. During a week-long trip to the regions strongly associated with fruit growing, the group had the opportunity to become acquainted with the latest horticultural technologies and our range of products.
The first location visited was the Valente plant located near Padua. A company with a rich, over sixty-year-old tradition offers solutions for orchards and vineyards. In addition to leading pre-stressed concrete poles, we offer a range of complete systems for fruit growing.
During the presentation given by Cristiano Ferrari of Valente, the participants of the trip learned about the company’s history, its main goals and current projects. They saw production areas and numerous facilities that use components manufactured in the company. The projects included hail and rain protection structures utilised in apple orchards, as well as in raspberry or currant plantations. Supporting scaffolds used in vineyards were also shown. The visit ended with the presentation of a cherry orchard covered with foil protection against rain. The whole structure was made from a system using elements of Valente.
The next part of the training was to familiarise growers with the latest varieties of trees, including variety-related differences and requirements.
This stage of the training began with a visit to the Gruber Genetti Nursery in Verona. The nursery has operated since 1988. Currently, it produces around 2 million apple trees annually on an area of 220 hectares. During a walk around the nursery, the owner Philipp Brugger talked about the production cycle of trees, the main problems and the most important moments of production. The participants also visited the model orchards belonging to the nursery. There, they could see all the varieties produced in the nursery, compare tree growth and the appearance of the fruit.
Information on the production of cherries was also provided during the visit. In the orchard belonging to the nursery owner, the participants could familiarise themselves with a modern system for cherry growing. The entire plantation is covered with anti-hail nets and rain foil. The tight enclosure of the plantations with an anti-hail net protects the fruit against birds and insects.
The plantation covers nearly 50 hectares. Fertilisation and the right level of irrigation of the plants play a very large role in the production technology. The orchard uses state-of-the-art technologies for accurate application of the right dose of fertiliser in a timely manner.
The last part of the training was a visit to the orchard of the owner of the Gasser Nursery near Bolzano. Georg Gasser, the company owner, a passionate gardener from a family with multi-generational horticultural traditions, is full of knowledge about the cultivation of apple trees. For many years he has carried out numerous experiments on his plantations, both in terms of fertilisation and the use of agrotechnical treatments. Through these experiences he has got to know the differences between varieties in respect of their requirements, and he has been using this knowledge successfully in cultivation. Thanks to George Gasser’s passion and experience, a visit to his perfect plantations is an unforgettable fruit-growing lesson.
Author: Magdalena Zatorska