G. Bargioni
Italy's strawberry acreage currently totals about 11,000 hectares, with 28% located in the south which accounts for 40% of overall output and has higher per-hectare yields than the north. Annual production in the last two years averaged 200,000 tonnes. Tunnel cultivation, particularly widespread in the south (55%), represents one-third of total national acreage and about half of total output. In 1986 and 1987 about 30% of the crop was exported (70–75% to the Federal Republic of Germany) and 10% sent to processing.

The strawberry industry has registered a marked period of growth in the last six-seven years. This is a result of higher yields per hectare following the introduction of more productive cultivars having larger fruits, improved management techniques and increase in southern acreage combined with the use of plastic tunnels. Recently growers have been showing a greater interest in day-neutral cultivars as well, although their use is still limited.

Lowering costs and increasing returns are still the main concerns of growers. In the Verona area (Po Valley) for example, many of them are producing two yields from a single planting, employing cold-stored plants at high density planted in late August-early September and harvested twice in late autumn and the following spring. Currently the main cultivars are "Addie" (20%) and "Gorella" (14%) in Po valley and "Douglas" (26%) and "Pajaro" (6%) in the south.

Bargioni, G. (1989). THE ITALIAN STRAWBERRY INDUSTRY. Acta Hortic. 265, 659-664
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1989.265.102

Acta Horticulturae