Recent innovations in the implementation and management of the hazelnut orchards in Italy
Training systems and plant density of hazelnut orchards in Italy are based on bushes with 3-5 stems at a density of 400-500 plants per hectare. High-density systems have received little attention, and the new plantations have always been manually carried out. In many countries, as well as in Italy, new hazelnut orchards are being implemented: in some farms located in central Italy, a DGNSS-RTK technology to establish mechanical plantation has been recently proposed. The new orchards are based on single trunk plants using higher-density plantations distances (3×4.5 m) if compared with the previous ones (up to 5×5 m). A new orchard management is being developed by the use of sub-irrigation systems and mechanical pruning. Moreover, the use of non-suckers emission rootstocks could be needed in the near future. The economic analysis focuses on the comparison between the operating costs of manual and mechanical plantation, aimed at finding the break-even point indicating the minimum hectares that should be planted in order to make this operation convenient. This analysis can be used as a driver to encourage the producers to adopt this technology.
Cristofori, V., Blasi, E., Pancino, B., Stelliferi, R. and Lazzari, M. (2017). Recent innovations in the implementation and management of the hazelnut orchards in Italy. Acta Hortic. 1160, 165-172
Corylus avellana L., non-suckers emission, DGNSS-RTK, high density plantations, mechanical pruning