It is a protocolized system, which allows guiding the pomegranate plant with a tutor during its first year of growth, guaranteeing its homogeneity, as well as its quality and greater health of the fruit tree.
By Marga López, Agrifood Journalist
Located in the Top 10 of the superfruits, the pomegranate today is fashionable for its antioxidant power, however its cultivation is not new in our country. Its production is located mostly in Alicante, but also in Valencia and Murcia, Spain is the largest producer of grenades in the European Union.
Under the protection of this grenade boom, we have seen how in recent years many companies are modifying their strategies both from a productive and commercial point of view, betting on greater professionalization of the crop. Both lines of development go hand in hand, and in this, nurseries play an essential role.
One of them is Viveros Hernandorena, located in Carlet (Valencia), which has been working with this fruit for several years ahead of the needs of the producer, marketer and consumer sector. “We want to position ourselves as a reference nursery based on two strategic lines, on the one hand the production and on the other hand the varietal innovation,” explains Rosa Hernandorena, commercial director of Viveros Hernandorena.
She, and her brothers Fernando and Isabel, turned around the entity founded by their father more than 10 years ago. They opted to expand the facilities with a new production and multiplication center in Benimodo (Valencia), new formats for commercialization of fruit trees, and for innovative varieties from the best breeders internationally.
Leader in the production of pomegranates
Viveros Hernandorena will pass this campaign from a commercial production of 60,000 pomegranate seedlings to more than 120,000. “Not only does volume matter, for us the quality of our fruit trees and the homogeneity with which they are delivered to the customer is key,” adds the commercial director.
This nursery has a mother plant field, which allows them to have maximum varietal and sanitary control of the trees, where the plant material is cut for the production of the seedlings. They also have an experimental plot, where they make visits throughout the campaign to check the results of the technical tests they are developing and the adaptation of the new varieties to the Mediterranean climate.
“Guided just in time” production system
But the differentiation strategy of Viveros Hernandorena is not only focused on offering plates, in volume and quality, but they have developed their own production system that guarantees that quality, their subsequent adaptation in the farm, as well as their health.
This system of production, called “Guided just in time” begins from the moment the stalk sprouts, when a guardian is placed, periodically eliminating the still tender shoots, leaving only the most straight and vigorous. The main outbreak is guided by the tutor until the end of the nursery cultivation. In this way, a much more straight and homogeneous plant is obtained in both caliber and height, achieving a remarkable differentiation in quality of finished plant with respect to traditional systems. “When making the cuts when the shoots are not yet lignified, it has been found that later in the agricultural plantation, the trees do not emit as many sprouts nor with such vigor vigorously reducing the cultivation costs for the farmer. In addition, at the time of planting the formation cuts are barely visible and are already well healed at the time of transplantation, which minimizes any possibility of damage from plague or disease, ”says Rosa Hernandorena.
As for the format of sale of pomegranate seedlings, from Viveros Hernandorena they have opted for the sale to bare root, which allows the commercialization with a height of between 120 and 140 cm, during the latency period of the plant, that is, during the winter months, being the most suitable format for export. In addition, they have cold rooms to be able to extend the commercialization period until May if the client requires it.
Red and sweet varieties
Another of the differentiating lines of Viveros Hernandorena is the varietal offer that they now make available to the producer and marketer sector and that is the result of joint work with the main breeders worldwide, and pioneer and leading centers in varietal development. Thus this nursery has one of the most complete catalogs in terms of pomegranate varieties, from the traditional to the most innovative.
Among the latter, Iliana and Rugalate stand out. It is a cross developed by the IVIA of Valencia between the Mollar and Wonderful variety that has resulted in two new varieties, both red and sweet. “So far, most of the red varieties we grow in the area were acidic. Now we launch two new materials of red and sweet pomegranates, the first one, Iliana is early, while Rugalate is later, both with almost imperceptible seeds, ”describes the commercial director of the Nurseries.
In this way, Viveros Hernandorena confirms its position within the pomegranate sector as national and international reference nurseries, betting on innovation in its production systems (“Guided just in time”) and by last generation varietal material
Prior appointment for technical visits of pomegranate:
T: +34 96 253 26 81
M: +34 671 34 24 77