THE ITALIAN STRAWBERRY INDUSTRY
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.