Three new CIV strawberry varieties excel in Italy

According to the testimonies of technicians and producers, LYCIA® "is destined to become a reference variety in the Veronese area," ELIDE® "remains a high-quality fruit at the end of the season" and PARTHENOPE® "is an excellent solution for those looking for quality in January.”

The season of growing June-bearing strawberries with low and high chill requirements is coming to an end, leaving room for late production, characterized by ever-bearers varieties, normally grown in colder climates, foothills and mountains.

CIV, which has always set itself the objective of developing varieties capable of satisfying the increasingly demanding requirements of the market and farmers, takes stock of the 2020 strawberry campaign with regard to its new June-bearing varieties with low chill requirements (ELIDE® CIVS906* and PARTHENOPE® CIVS115*) and high chill requirements (LYCIA® CIVNB557*).

CIV turned to Silvestro Chianese and Giuseppe Costanzo, two technicians from Caserta and Naples, for a testimony on the cultivation of ELIDE® CIVS906* and PARTHENOPE® CIVS115*. Chianese begins: "In general, ELIDE® CIVS906* and PARTHENOPE® CIVS115* are confirming important characteristics able to improve the strawberry growing in Caserta and Naples. Both varieties are still producing excellent-quality fruit and we expect a final ripening of about 40-50 gr per plant."

Silvestro then focuses on the central aspects of ELIDE® CIVS906*: "Although it has a slightly late flowering, this variety guarantees a good production of about 750 – 800 gr/plant (depending on the duration of the harvest season and the climate) of homogeneous fruits, with a very good aspect, excellent taste and very firm, even in high temperatures, and therefore suitable for selling in distant markets.

"As also confirmed by the producer Cerasuolo, one of the first to test ELIDE® CIVS906* in the Caserta and Neapolitan area, where I offer regular technical assistance, currently (05/28/2020) the variety continues to produce fruit of superior quality compared to other cultivars present in the area."

Then on PARTHENOPE® CIVS115*: "This is a very productive variety, with an average annual production of about 850-900 gr per plant, characterized by an early quality production since the month of January and which is continuing this year, probably facilitated by the mild May, until now.”

Costanzo underlines: "The key aspect of PARTHENOPE® CIVS115* is the quality of the fruit harvested in January, which is able to develop a homogeneous red color, covering the whole epidermis, including the peduncular area (calyx area), whereas in the other early varieties grown in the area it is very common to have a white, non-colored area, about one centimeter long, which starts from the calyx area and descends towards the center of the fruit."

Costanzo and Chianese agree: "CIV is now able to provide a valid solution for our areas, offering the farmer the possibility to cover the whole harvest calendar with quality fruit from January with PARTHENOPE® CIVS115* to May and June with ELIDE® CIVS906*. In addition, both varieties have an important agronomic advantage, given the rusticity of the plant, which does not show sensitivity to the main fungal diseases.

"PARTHENOPE® CIVS115* is certainly a variety suitable for all business contexts, since, given the precocity and quality of the January and February harvests, it allows the rapid recovery of production costs and the introduction on the market when liquidation prices are still high. While ELIDE® CIVS906* is more suitable for structured companies, such as cooperatives and large producers, which are able to enhance the value of quality fruit through appropriate distribution channels and seek a continuity of high-quality product supply from December to the warm months of May and June."

Giancarlo Caloi is in charge of the management of the Zeba Elena farm, in the Veronese area, and has been growing LYCIA® CIVNB557* for four years now, since his first attempts on the market. Nobody knows this variety in the area better than him and his independent technician Giorgio Perbellini. "LYCIA® CIVNB557* – explains Giancarlo – is a variety that has characteristics of vital importance for our area: first of all, production takes place over a period of about 40 days (harvesting starts around April 15 and is still in progress on 05/28/2020), which means that we can plan the harvest in the best possible way and get better prices, which, as we know, are subject to continuous and unpredictable fluctuations.

"By contrast, traditional varieties, which concentrate production over a period of ten days, are fully subject to market pressure, which, in the event of oversupply, leads to low and potentially unprofitable liquidation prices throughout the harvest period. However, LYCIA® CIVNB557* minimizes this risk thanks to its characteristic long ripening period.”

Caloi and Perbellini add: "A not secondary aspect is the so-called long “on-plant” ripe life or the fruit, which do not perish quickly if not harvested, but rather accumulate sugars and enhance their color without worsening the flesh firmness and the resistance of the epidermis. Moreover, LYCIA® CIVNB557* has an excellent 'shelf-life' that allows the fruit to be easily processed in the warehouse, preventing it from being damaged by handling."

Perbellini adds an important agronomic aspect, which he has been able to observe in other companies accustomed to the cultivation practice of the Veronese tunnel: "Good-sized plants, such as those of category A or A+, are well equipped with flower stems for autumn production. In addition, the plant itself is very productive and easily acclimatizes when temperatures drop, thus ensuring an excellent vegetative recovery at the end of the winter period and consequent high production in spring."

Giancarlo concludes on the quality characteristics of the fruit: "The traders I produce for are very satisfied and recognize the quality of the fruit, which has a homogeneously-elongated shape and a bright red and never dark color and is crunchy and aromatic, with a very intense scent that invites consumption. I have been growing this variety for four years now and I am very happy with it. That is why next year LYCIA® CIVNB557* will be among the family company's varietal choices.”

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