Varieties renewal caused the blueberry production increase in Chile
Market experts expect Chilean blueberry export will 4% increase compared the last year & amount 115 thousand tons. That became possible due to the new planting areas, overtopped the last few years.
Firstly new plantings took place for variety renewal, but further it has drawn the acreage & blueberry production increase. New planting area occurred over 4 thousand hectares in the last four years & will come into full capacity anytime soon, when new plants reach potential production. Due to the climate conditions: less chill hours in winter & frost series staying since August, the potential production of new areas will be decreased this season. In addition, the members of Chilean Blueberry Committee made terms to stop export of some old varieties with insufficient shelf life. These factors made the Committee to estimate the total Chilean blueberry production of this season at a level of about 160 thousand tons, including 115 thousand tons of fresh export, 41 thousand tons of going to processing sector berries & 4 thousand tons sent to home consumption.
New planting statistics demonstrate 2500 hectares net growth & total blueberry planting area in Chile of 18374 hectares. The acreage stayed stable in previous years with new varieties replacing the old ones. The main production regions, such as Maule, Ñuble and Bio Bio, made nearly 92% of the increase.
The other important thing to pay attention is the early sprouting of blueberries in Chile this season. The climate conditions “woken up” blueberries earlier & berries came a week ahead. The Committee plans to distribute a new forecast for Chilean blueberry season with September weather conditions effect in early October.