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Wyświetlenie artykułów z etykietą: fresh blueberries - Blue-Berry.pl - blueberry farm | fresh blueberries | blueberry producer from Poland - Blue-Berry.pl - blueberry farm | fresh blueberries | blueberry producer from Poland http://blue-berry.pl Sat, 21 Sep 2019 15:52:28 +0200 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management pl-pl The future of the Polish blueberry business http://blue-berry.pl/index.php/blog/poland/the-future-of-the-polish-blueberry-business http://blue-berry.pl/index.php/blog/poland/the-future-of-the-polish-blueberry-business The future of the Polish blueberry business

 

Blueberry growing is becoming more and more popular, not only in Poland, but also in Europe and the world. Blueberry reality changes very quickly.

We here in Poland have serious dilemmas, what varieties to plant, what cultivation system to choose. A severe limitation in the selection of varieties is the strict Polish climate. At the turn of February and March we had an influx of strong frosts from the north-east, temperatures for several nights dropped below -20 degrees, to which the wind appeared.

Producers who base their production mostly on Bluecrop have no reason to worry, this variety very well tolerates such extreme conditions. However, the differences are slightly different: Chandler, Duke, or licensed Draper, LibertyWith these varieties there is a lot of uncertainty about the amount of harvest in the 2018 season, there is also the risk that not only the flower buds but also the shoots could be damaged.

Conservatives of Blueberry claim we should continue to grow Bluecropa. Their voice is stronger in years with extreme weather, I would even say that these are the moments of triumph of these conservative views.

  
However, the expectations of customers in Western Europe are different. During the debate at the Blueberry Conference, topics related to varieties that are acceptable by, for example, British networks were discussed. The south of Europe has the option of planting southern varieties, in which there are many varieties with excellent commercial parameters. Unfortunately, we can not afford these varieties.

The representative of the Polish company exporting the blueberries, said that we should stick to old proven types, and the price should be a low price factor. Is this what the world expects of us?

Deciding on the cultivation of proven and reliable varieties for yielding, for example, Bluecrop, we aim above average quality. Yes, production will be sure, but who will be interested in this variation in a few years? In my opinion, we will not be able to compete effectively with blueberries from other countries with a milder climate. A low price here will not help, it may even hurt, because the market will destabilize. The 2017 season was difficult for Polish producers, but you can learn a lot from each difficult season. In September, to sell blueberries to the U.K market, the quality had to be high. The recipients abroad do not care about our local problems with the weather, the sale operates in a binary system:

1 - good quality - there is a buyer at a good price

0- average quality - no buyer even at a low price

There is no room for compromise here. Either we start to grow types with good parameters, or we start to be pushed to the margins of world blueberry, we compete only with price and fill the commodities with periods when another product is missing.

Of course, growing varieties like Liberty, Draper or even Duke is associated with some risk. When deciding on these varieties one must be aware that in years with severe winters, there may be losses. However, we have no choice but to maintain or even strengthen our position on European markets.

More and more new plantations are established from the varieties preferred by Western trade networks. Growing system similar to the trends from Western Europe - cultivation on the beds, full fertigation, cultivation in tunnels or under the foil.

We are also starting to go in this direction, of course, being aware of the threats. However, we know that there is no other way out, blueberry is a global fruit, if Poland will not be able to meet the recipients' requirements, other countries will do it. There is no sentiment here, new technologies and types are a must.

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pawel@kret.agro.pl (Paweł Kret) Poland Wed, 07 Mar 2018 20:32:08 +0100
Quality of blueberries http://blue-berry.pl/index.php/blog/poland/quality-of-blueberries http://blue-berry.pl/index.php/blog/poland/quality-of-blueberries Quality of blueberries
There are very many things that dictate the quality of blueberries. There is a long way to go between quality on the bush and quality on the shelf.
Type of blueberry
It's the first elemnt of the chain of  quality, the fundament of quality. Types with soft or weak fruits will be hard to produce so that they will be able to survive the long deliveries and have good parametres on the shelf. A series of licensing varieties such as Draper, Liberty, Aurora have great parameters, but in Polish conditions they are often unreliable in yielding. Therefore, their participation on Polish plantations is not large, but it is slowly growing. In this case, you do not have to work as much as you want with the varieties Bluecrop or Chandler to get good quality when selling, which does not mean that you can not destroy them on the bush-recipient path.

Quality of blueberries on the bush
It is not the same with quality on the shelf, you can have great fruit on the plantation, but the cold store is weak. The path of fruit from the bush to the warehouse is a basic element of good quality. The first matter is a collection of blueberries, it requires battles of good manual skills, gentle handling of fruits. Containers where blueberries are picked should be as close to the worker's twig and hands as possible, then the amount of fruit held in the hands will be smaller, ie less risk of wrinkles. The method of inserting broken fruit into containers is also important, it can not be done from a great height. Conclusion one, quite small and low collection containers, best attached to the person's breaking belt.

Cooling time of blueberries
This is a very important element, the shorter the better. Lowering this time is a logistical challenge on every plantation. If it is about 2 hours, it is a good result and that is enough.
Time 30 minutes from harvest to cool, is possible only when the plantation of refrigerated trucks, stationary containers are not suitable for this because when reloading on the car the fruit will cover with dew. Employees must have broken fruit every 20 minutes, which gives us less than 2 kg for a capacity of about 5 kg/h, so the containers to be cut can not be more than 2kg, because then the time of pulling the container will be more than 30 minutes. The number of such refrigerated vehicles also must be appropriate to the size, number of accommodation units and amount of bats. There is another problem, when placing fruit into the container, the door must be opened and closed frequently, it will cause problems with obtaining low temperature on the refrigerated truck, but what's worse may cause dew on already chilled fruits.
The lack of cooling of broken blueberries directly on the plantation or specific quarters makes it impossible to obtain a time of 30 minutes. It is physically impossible. Accepting the fruit takes a few minutes, arriving at the reception point, arriving from the plantation to the cold store, unloading time, returning to the collection point, all this makes 30 minutes a fiction. 2 we pass a very good result and it requires a good organization, it is also quite sufficient.


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pawel@kret.agro.pl (Paweł Kret) Our farm Sun, 11 Feb 2018 17:19:04 +0100
Blueberries and supplier http://blue-berry.pl/index.php/blog/poland/blueberries-and-supplier http://blue-berry.pl/index.php/blog/poland/blueberries-and-supplier blueberry_punets
Production of blueberries in Poland in the last 4-5 years has begun to develop dynamically, new plantings are growing.

Only a few years ago, most of the plantations belonged to blueberry enthusiasts who, thanks to the huge commitment to his cultivation, successfully produced good quality blueberries and successfully exported them.
 
Recent years have seen a definite increase in new plantations, some of them are very well-run and these farms specialize in the production of blueberries. However, there are many small ones under 4-5 ha, where blueberry is the second or third cultivated species and this fragmentation leads to a certain chaos. Many companies that trade other fruits have started to be interested in blueberries and buy from these smaller plantations. Very often, these new companies do not know the specific requirements that must be met when trading blueberries. Shopping in such companies may result in complaints, and this is not nice for anyone.
Why?
Companies that turn this fruit are interested in the lowest purchase price, for a simple reason they are interested only in margin, with the least amount of money for the purchased goods from the producer. Larger plantations are not very willing to cooperate with such companies, so such companies buy blueberries from the smallest farms, often closing the eye, to minor flaws such as - lack of quick cooling, preliminary sorting at high temperatures, damage resulting from harvest or lack of certificates ( goods with residues, etc.),
 
The purchase of blueberries from such companies is associated with a certain risk, often those responsible for quality checking in such companies are not able to assess the quality of purchased blueberries. There are problems with the continuity of cooling, blueberries are completed from small suppliers and there is a high risk that even a single pallet does not come from a single supplier.
This was the case at the end of the 2017 season, where fruit of poor quality reached the Western European market due to lack of awareness or greed of trading companies. The effect was that the export of blueberries practically faded, only those who could control the quality of blueberries were left and did not try at all costs to send goods that were not suitable for long transport.
Conclusions
Berries are specific and a number of requirements must be met in order to produce them well and rotate them. Price should not be a decisive element when choosing a supplier, too low a price can be a deterrent. Offers of less than 4 euro / kg can be dangerous for both producers and buyers. If the company offers blueberries at 3.5 euros / kg, at a margin of 1 euro / kg, the producer gets 2.5 euros / kg, or about 10 PLN. These are only production costs. Polish producers have big problems with employees, rates in the 2017 season have increased by 25-40% and everyone realizes that this is just the beginning of increases. The route of blueberries from shrubs to fruits pre-sorted on a pallet in the 2017 season is over 1 euro / kg and will grow. Offers of companies buying 2-2,5 euro / kg cause that the list of suppliers narrows down to those who do not meet basic standards, no refrigeration after harvest, lack of awareness about production and preparation of goods, low rates for arrays, a large percentage of soft blueberries, breaking into unsuitable containers.

Each recipient has to answer the question whether the priority is price or quality of blueberries. If the main criterion for choosing a price is the risk of a defective product is very high.

A good solution is buying blueberries straight from the producer, it has its advantages and disadvantages.


Advantages:
The entire transport from one producer, one GGN number
Greater mobilization of the manufacturer to maintain the highest quality
No unnecessary reloading of goods
Shortened time from collection to recipient abroad


Disadvantages:
On smaller farms, smaller one-off quantities of blueberries
A farm audit may be needed for new suppliers

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pawel@kret.agro.pl (Paweł Kret) Poland Tue, 06 Feb 2018 21:33:16 +0100
A new blueberry plantation http://blue-berry.pl/index.php/blog/poland/new-plantation http://blue-berry.pl/index.php/blog/poland/new-plantation A new blueberry plantation
 
In 2015, we decided to expand our farm, unfortunately in the area where we have been operating so far, there is no agricultural land, let alone for growing blueberries.

We dreamed of a position in the vicinity of forests, far from intensive agriculture and industry. An important issue was also the soil type, i.e. light, sandy with a decent content of humus. We decided to buy the first plot in the vicinity of the Stromiecka Forest. The first was followed by the first one, and so in 2016 preparations for the new blueberry plantation on the area of ​​11 ha began. The choice of the main variety was quite simple, early Duke and pollinators Huron and Draper.

We decided to plant the plantation in the likeness of new modern Dutch plantations:

  •  blueberries planted on beds (lower than in the Netherlands, because the height is about 15-20 cm)
  • to avoid laborious weeding in the first years, lined with foils
  • fertilization of blueberries, 100% based on fertigation, which enables precise nutrition of plants and reduction of fertilizer and water losses
  • the heart of the plantation is a hydrophore, where the fertilizer computer precisely adjusts the fertilizer doses to the actual amount of water fed
        

We owe a lot of help to one of the oldest blueberry planters in Europe - Leon Schrijwerwerkers, and his team - Aleksandra, Piotr and Staszek. Before choosing a crop model, they visited us, gave us some tips, and gave us a lot of confidence. Soil assessment by the Dutch was in line with our opinion. In September 2016, we moved with works, laying out rows, quarters, irrigation bus, building a hydrophore, setting up a deep well. Spreading sawdust, peat. The works lasted until the end of October.

We planted the plants in the spring of 2017, for over a month in difficult conditions, it was necessary to spread the drip lines, the foil, and finally planting blueberries.

In 2018, we plan to further increase this new plantation by a further 3 ha, in the future new constructions are not excluded.

 

 

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pawel@kret.agro.pl (Paweł Kret) Our farm Mon, 29 Jan 2018 17:51:58 +0100
Our blueberry season 2017 http://blue-berry.pl/index.php/blog/poland/blueberry-season-2017 http://blue-berry.pl/index.php/blog/poland/blueberry-season-2017 Our blueberry season 2017
 
The year 2017 was very difficult from the very beginning in Poland. In March, we had high temperatures, the time of vegetation started, then in April there was a big cooling with negative temperatures during the night to -9 degrees.

As it turned out it was only the first wave of frosts, in the middle of May another two nights came with a temperature of -6, - 8 degrees, during the beginning of flowering blueberries.
Fortunately, the plants were well nourished and the losses were not too big. In addition, we have increased the number of pollinators, mainly bumblebees because these are good at low temperatures. In normal years the number of Bombus terrestris families was 9-12 / ha, in this difficult season we put 15 families per hectare. As it turned out it was a good solution, because despite the losses in the frost, the yields were quite good.
However, this was only the beginning of problems with the weather. In the beginning of the season, i.e. in July, another cooling and rains came, it caused a delay in the maturation of blueberries, as well as a lot of pressure from birds that wanted to collect fruit for us. However, we have a large part of the plantation covered with nets, so protection was much easier.
The second half of July and the beginning of August were quite good, but not for long. In August, we had two 4-5 days of rain in the high season. The employees had less efficiency, we had to compensate them with higher rates. In addition, the supervision of the harvest had to be done personally by us. This was what Joanna did, who can do it so effectively that the fruits that came down from the plantations, despite the harsh conditions, were well severed. Blueberries, of course, still required insightful sorting after cooling. Paweł dealt with it, 2 months for 10 hours a day at a temperature of 8 to 2 degrees, supervised and personally prepared, pre-sorted fruit for shipments. In the 2017 season, we sold 90% of production in 4kg packages to the British market through a Polish exporter.
In addition to the weather, the season was also nervous, at the end of August and September, most companies selling blueberries to Western Europe stopped buying due to poor quality. During this period, we had the most fruit to sell. Despite the difficult conditions, we were able to send blueberries to U.K. until September 14. In addition, the reports on further sorting and packaging were really good, all in green. We did not have any complaints, customers were satisfied with our goods. This motivates us to continue our work and personal 100% commitment when harvesting and sorting blueberries.
This result is also due to our selected employees who gave a lot of themselves in this difficult season. Our policy has also worked, where we offer slightly higher rates than other growers, but thanks to this we have the opportunity to better select employees.
Winter is a period in which we can afford to relax before the next season. In March, we start cutting, then work on the yield and its quality. We hope that in the 2018 season the quality will also be very good and all our clients will be satisfied with cooperation with us.

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pawel@kret.agro.pl (Paweł Kret) Our farm Sun, 28 Jan 2018 15:19:07 +0100