New varieties approved for South Tyrol
In recent years, 2,000 acres of apple orchards have been replaced in the South Tyrol area of northern Italy, which is the world's largest contiguous apple-growing area. Yet, the most commonly planted apples are still Golden Delicious, Gala, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious, according to a press release from the organizers of Interpoma, an annual trade show covering the cultivation, storage, and marketing of apples.
Growers in the South Tyrol have been replanting orchards at a rate of around 4 percent, which is not enough, according to Harald Weis of the South Tyrol Advisory Board for Fruit and Wine Cultivations,
who recommends an annual turnover rate of 5 to 6 percent.
Last year, nearly 40 percent of new orchards were planted with Golden Delicious, 15 percent were planted with Gala, 11 percent were planted with Granny Smith, and another 11 percent were planted with Red Delicious. Growers are interested in planting Cripps Pink, but only 69 acres were planted last year because of a scarcity of trees.
Recently, the legal requirements were fulfilled by the South Tyrol Variety Innovation Consortium to allow growers to plant three new varieties: Modi (CIV G198 cultivar), Kanzi (Nicoter), and Jazz (Scifresh).
Because of its good coloring characteristics, the scab-resistant Modi could be a good choice for orchards on the valley floor, says Kurt Werth, head of the variety consortium, while on hilly areas, Kanzi would be an alternative.
Growers in the South Tyrol will be allowed to plant Jazz starting in 2010. "Our experience with this up to now is still limited," Werth said in the press release. "We are aware of the difficulties of this variety. But the producers' interest in new, internationally familiar varieties is great. And with this variety, the marketing companies also see an interesting expansion of the level of varieties."
The most promising new varieties will be on show at Interpoma 2008, which will be held at the Bolzano Exhibition Center in the capital of South Tyrol from November 6 to 8.
For more information about Interpoma, check the Web site at www.interpoma.it.