The Sant Miquel Fair and Eurofruit remain in digital format

Despite the will of the organisers, the evolution of the pandemic and the consequent uncertainty generated in the business sector make it inadvisable to maintain the classic approach of the Lleida show

This year, the Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and Eurofruit will be held in their most atypical form, with no physical exhibitors and “re

Attività tecniche e professionali

D’altra parte, Fira de Lleida ritiene che, al di là dei limiti di questa soluzione, sia opportuno tenere la Fira de Sant Miquel in questo formato fondamentalmente digitale per mantenere almeno il ruolo di piattaforma formativa e informativa che la manifestazione ha avuto per decenni e “per rispetto” degli enti che hanno lavorato in questi mesi per organizzare le attività tecniche di questa edizione.

In questo senso, il direttore generale di Fira de Lleida, Oriol Oró, ha annunciato che sono già state programmate diverse attività in formato digitale, che possono essere seguite in streaming, interagendo via chat, e che saranno poi conservate sul sito web per eventuali consultazioni future.

Ci saranno anche alcuni eventi faccia a faccia, come la visita della missione commerciale bielorussa (con incontri d’affari e una presentazione d’affari). In questa visita della delegazione dell’ex Repubblica Sovietica spicca la costituzione della prestigiosa azienda produttrice di trattori MTW, la quinta al mondo per importanza nel suo settore, e che viene presentata “ufficialmente” a Lleida come porta d’ingresso per la commercializzazione in Spagna e nell’Europa meridionale.

Saranno inoltre consegnati personalmente il 49° Premio del libro agricolo e il 5° Premio dell’articolo tecnico agricolo, del valore di 4.000 euro, organizzati ogni anno nell’ambito della fiera Lleida. L’evento si terrà il 25 settembre. Le attività si svolgeranno a La Llotja de Lleida e presso la sede di Magical Media.

La 66° edizione della Fiera Agricola di Sant Miquel e la 35° edizione di Eurofruit Fair si svolgeranno dal 24 al 27 settembre.

converted” into a digital event that will offer an online catalogue of exhibitors, promoted through the networks, and various technical activities through the Internet, such as conferences and lectures (exceptionally, some face-to-face events will be held). The Delegate Commission of the Fira de Lleida Foundation, “despite the enormous technical, economic and human effort” carried out by the trade fair institution to hold the show, has taken this decision after evaluating the current situation in depth and after sounding out the sector, which views the present evolution of the pandemic and the measures which may be taken day by day by the health authorities with uncertainty.

Jaume Saltó, president of the Delegate Commission of the Fira de Lleida Foundation and the Lleida Chamber of Commerce, explained that the directors of the Fira de Lleida Foundation have concluded that, despite the 85% of exhibition space reserved for the summer, the uncertainty caused by the health situation in the sector does not guarantee a fair with the right contents and critical mass of visitors. Saltó explained that the health situation to date generates many doubts and that, in view of the unclear future, in the last week many companies have shown reticence in exhibiting.

Saltó also regretted the loss of the positive economic impact that the Sant Miquel Fair and Eurofruit generate on the territory, valued at some 8 million euros in sectors as hard hit as services for fairs (stand assembly, security, etc.), hotels and restaurants, transport and trade, among others.

With regard to the organisation of this year’s edition, the representatives of Fira de Lleida explained that during the first half of the year, Fira de Lleida’s commercial work and the contracting of space by companies (achieving the aforementioned 85%) took place, which were contracted with the intention of attending the fair but with the unknown quantity of the evolution of the pandemic and the real situation in September. On 22 July, the Catalan Civil Protection Territorial Plan (Procicat) approved a specific plan for the fairs, and during the month of August Fira de Lleida worked under pressure and uncertainty to find and contact technology suppliers who would allow the regulations to be met and the fair to be held with guarantees, and the entire event was redefined and adapted to the new protocol.

On 2nd September, the plan for the show was presented to Fira de Lleida’s Delegate Commission and the celebration of the show was approved with the measures adopted to guarantee compliance with Procicat’s regulations. The Commission then informed the sector of the characteristics of the show’s new approach, which expressed its concerns and fears about the present and future situation of the pandemic and questioned the viability of the trade show with the measures required by Procicat.

The member institutions of the Fira de Lleida Board of Trustees reiterate that, precisely because of the economic situation generated by the Covidien-19 pandemic, a great effort has been made during these months to be able to hold this year’s edition of Sant Miquel and Eurofruit with the maximum guarantees of safety, considering these shows to be a lever for economic reactivation and the generation of business confidence, as well as a sign of the progressive return to normality. In this sense, it was planned to implement a cutting-edge system with Artificial Intelligence to ensure compliance and traceability of the measures set out in the Procicat action plan and guarantee the safety of visitors, exhibitors and organisers.

Technical and professional activities

On the other hand, Fira de Lleida considers that, beyond the limitations of this solution, it is advisable to hold the Sant Miquel Fair in this basically digital format in order to maintain at least the role of training and information platform that the show has had for decades and “out of respect” for the entities that have worked in recent months to organise technical activities for this edition.

In this sense, the general manager of Fira de Lleida, Oriol Oró, has announced that various activities have already been programmed in digital format, which can be followed via streaming, interacting via chat and which will then be kept on the website for possible future consultations.

There will also be some face-to-face events, such as the visit of the Belarusian trade mission (with business meetings and a business presentation). In this visit of the delegation from the former Soviet republic, the incorporation of the prestigious MTW tractor manufacturer, the fifth most important company in the world in its sector, stands out. It is being “officially” presented in Lleida as a gateway for its commercialisation in Spain and southern Europe.

The 49th Agricultural Book Award and the 5th Agricultural Technical Article Award will also be presented in person, awards worth 4,000 euros which are organised annually within the framework of the Lleida show. The event will take place on 25 September. The activities will take place at La Llotja de Lleida and at the Magical Media headquarters.

The 66th edition of the Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and the 35th edition of the Eurofruit show will take place from 24th to 27th September.

The Sant Miquel Fair claims its role as an economic motor without renouncing security

Organisers say it will be a benchmark for the rest of the exhibition world

It will use an innovative artificial intelligence system to detect and monitor compliance with standards for prevention, mitigation and containment of the epidemic in real time

Utilizzerà un innovativo sistema di intelligenza artificiale per rilevare e monitorare il rispetto delle norme di prevenzione, mitigazione e contenimento dell’epidemia in tempo reale

This edition is specifically aimed at “visitors who are really interested in buying

The Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and the Eurofruit show cannot renounce their role as an economic engine, an economic dynamizer and a business meeting point, as well as the role of a reference point for sectors such as agriculture, livestock and the automotive industry, guaranteeing the health safety of people at all times in the face of the threat of the Covid-19. This was the opinion expressed today by the Mayor of Lleida and President of Fira de Lleida’s Board of Trustees, Miquel Pueyo, who reviewed the meeting of the Delegate Committee of the Fira de Lleida Foundation with regard to the upcoming edition of Sant Miquel and Eurofruit. Pueyo reminded the audience of the value of any action aimed at recovering the economy, and pointed out the great economic impact of the fair on the participating sectors and on the territory as a whole.

The Mayor stated that the Lleida-based show, which this year will implement an innovative Artificial Intelligence system to ensure compliance with health care protocols, will also become a pioneering model to be followed by other trade fair events in the country. It should be remembered that the agricultural trade fair will take place from 24th to 27th September in the Fira de Lleida exhibition centre.

The president of the province of Lleida, Joan Talarn, stressed the responsibility of the patron institutions of Fira de Lleida both in terms of the safety of citizens and the economic promotion of the territory. He also stressed that this edition of Sant Miquel and Eurofruit could become a model to follow for the rest of the fairs in the province of Lleida.

Ramon Farré, the Government of Catalonia’s delegate in Lleida, stressed that the rigorous security measures that will be put in place (capacity control, use of masks, social distance) will be associated with a control of the traceability of all the people who enter the fair to avoid contagion in the event of detecting a positive one, adding that activities such as the technical conferences will be especially controlled, “and many will even be done telematically”.

“Great news for the city, for the business fabric of the territory and for the country”. Jaume Saltó, the president of the Lleida Chamber of Commerce, stated that the celebration of the Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and Eurofruit marks a milestone in the beginning of the economic recovery and that it represents a great business opportunity for companies from the sectors represented at the fair that have had little commercial activity in recent months.

Finally, the general manager of Fira de Lleida, Oriol Oró, explained the pioneering Artificial Intelligence solutions that will be applied at the Sant Miquel Fair, with a video camera system that will monitor people entering and leaving the fairground and will automatically warn in real time when the protocols for capacity, social distance, use of masks, etc. are not met, so that security personnel can act to rectify the situation.

Oró added that this is a show which responds to various economic sectors (agricultural machinery and services, automotive industry, civil engineering machinery, etc.) and that this year “is aimed at visitors who are really interested in buying more than those who simply want to come for a walk”.

It should be remembered that the health safety system to be installed at the fair consists of a series of cameras with a sophisticated algorithmic system, designed to detect, manage alerts and notify those in charge of the fair in real time, so that they can act and guarantee the protection of people when basic safety standards are not met: social distance, gauging, use of masks and body temperature control.

When the software detects that any of the rules are not being completed, it generates an alert and sends a notification to those responsible for the Fira de Lleida. Internal workers or employees identified by the system communicate the infraction and execute the pertinent actions according to the protocol established by shifts and/or communication channels, implemented through push messages from the app, SMS or email, always aided by the control panel which includes camera management for scenes and heat maps for viewing by areas.

This software, developed by AI.JUST, a spin-off of the Lleida-based company Just Digital, is the first technological solution, a pioneer in Spain, capable of identifying in a complete manner and in real time the four main security standards required for the prevention, mitigation and containment of Covid.

Novelties in the field of irrigation at the Sant Miquel Fair – Eurofruit

Controlled fertilizer injection systems, probes for measuring underground humidity, underground irrigation and solar pumping installations, among others, will be presented

The Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and the Eurofruit show, a fair that will take place from 24th to 27th September, will offer a wide range of services and novelties related to irrigation. The controlled injection of fertilizer (nitrogen) from slurry in irrigation, probes to measure underground humidity, underground drip irrigation, solar pumping – all systems belonging to the orbit of precision agriculture – will be some of the protagonists of this year’s edition of Sant Miquel and Eurofruit. The irrigation sector will be represented at the event by various specialised companies, including R.S. Agrotécnica del Segrià, Ongrub Medi Ambient and Hidromatic Ponent, SL.

Irrigation is an area of agriculture that is becoming increasingly professionalised, and which has benefited in recent years from two major generic advances, technification and the implementation of energy efficiency. The sector has undergone an evident transformation, stronger in large farms, which are often the object of important investments, and slower in small and medium-sized farms, where obsolete equipment and the obstacle of generational change make modernization difficult.

Hidromatic de Ponent will present a programme for injecting slurry into fruit farms (previously developed for cereals), developed jointly with the Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food, which, by adapting to the new regulations, makes it possible to replace the traditional method of randomly applying this organic waste with a precision method. Thus, through a conductometer, it is possible to calculate exactly the fertilizer value of the slurry in nitrogen and therefore the exact amount applied in each irrigation operation, avoiding the excess or lack of fertilizer (we are no longer talking about liters of water with slurry applied, but about kilos of nitrogen introduced). Normally it is applied through sprinkler irrigation, although tests are now being carried out with the drip system.

The company will also present an air injection system in reservoirs to oxygenate the water and prevent eutrophication (a process of pollution caused mainly by lack of oxygen and excess nutrients in the water, with the consequent massive proliferation of algae, accumulation of sludge, etc.).

For its part, the firm Ongrub Medi Ambient will present in Sant Miquel – Eurofruit systems for remote control of irrigation through various products (via radio, single cable or GPRS) and using a personal computer. Through a link with a PC, it is possible to have specific information about the system (history, incidents, irrigation situation, etc.) and to modify parameters, programs, etc. These systems are adapted to the different needs of users (whether they are irrigation communities, farms or parks and gardens) and for all types of irrigation (drip, sprinkler, underground, etc.).

Ongrub also works in the field of solar pumping systems applied to farm irrigation and has already installed about 200 hectares.

R.S. Agrotécnica del Segrià will present a wide variety of energy efficiency and automation systems applied to irrigation. As a novelty, the probes to measure the humidity, which register the availability of water in the subsoil and the facility of the plant to absorb it, and consequently allow to know how much and when it is necessary to irrigate, stand out. The records can also be consulted from the mobile phone with a specific application. Obviously, these are systems that also seek efficiency in water consumption, since they allow the application of the amount strictly necessary for the plant.

These devices allow to adjust the exact dose of water needed by the plant, considering that a deficiency may hinder the growth of the plant (and of the fruit or seed), but an excess may harm it since it drags the nutrients and affects the organoleptic quality of the product.

The company also offers “practical, efficient and competitive” solar pumping installations suitable for all types of farms, from large holdings to small orchards.

Solar pumping is a system that seeks efficiency by extracting or pushing water to a given place with photovoltaic solar energy – thanks to the use of solar panels and a converter that allows the energy captured by the panels to be used -, replacing the traditional supply through the electricity grid or with diesel generators, with its corresponding economic cost in electricity or fuel.

With regard to underground drip irrigation, it has the advantage that it requires less pressure (approximately half) than sprinkler irrigation, saves energy and water (as it has fewer losses), does not hinder machines working on the surface and cannot be damaged by the action of animals. At the same time, however, it has a higher cost of installation, a longer life span, it is complicated to detect breakdowns, it is not feasible for all types of land and it requires a more superficial cultivation, as the pipes are buried at a shallow depth.

The 66th edition of the Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and the 35th edition of the Eurofruit fair will take place from 24th to 27th September in the Lleida exhibition centre.

Virtual conferences and drone races at the Sant Miquel Fair – Eurofruit

LleidaDrone Association will present at the show solutions from different companies to help with the pandemic and will focus on precision agriculture

The LleidaDrone Association, based in the Lleida Science Park, will be present at this year’s Sant Miquel Fair – Eurofruit with a series of activities focused largely on the contribution of this technology to the fight against Covid-19. The proposals that LleidaDrone will develop within the framework of the fair, adapted to the current health circumstances, will have as a second thread precision agriculture, in line with previous editions. The 66th edition of the Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and the 35th edition of the Eurofruit fair will take place from 24th to 27th September.

The 13th Professional and Amateur Conferences of LleidaDrone will have this year an online format, and will consist of a series of pre-recorded lectures that will be presented in streaming during the fair to everyone through Youtube and Facebook.

The presentations will show the latest advances in the drone sector, emphasizing two topics, the new specific applications of these devices in precision agriculture and the many applications that are being carried out to help in the fight against the coronavirus, such as cleaning open spaces with substance irrigation systems against the virus and capacity control on beaches and other spaces susceptible to crowding with cameras and artificial intelligence systems.

In addition, LleidaDrone will have a stand where it will exhibit its projects and a space with a drone flight network in which continuous demonstrations will be made throughout the fair, including professional, toy and racing drones. Among other activities, LleidaDrone Racing Team pilots will be doing demonstration races.

This year the activities with children, such as flying drones or playing with the “Pagès Simulator” have been suspended in order to avoid possible infections caused by sharing materials.

The Association LleidaDrone was founded in 2011 at the Science and Technology Park of Lleida and has developed more than 70 events in Lleida, in the rest of Spain and in several European countries, always with the philosophy of offering non-profit activities to disseminate drone projects and technology.

It should be remembered that the Sant Miquel Fair and Eurofruit maintain a normal contracting rate, currently over 75%, given that – despite the health crisis registered this year – the strict security measures that the Fira de Lleida will implement and the fact that the Lleida Fair is the first major agricultural event to be held this year in Spain, have favoured the interest of exhibitors in attending the show.

The sectors represented at both events are tractors, agricultural machinery, precision agriculture, equipment and services for agriculture and livestock, local food products, the automotive industry, financial services and insurance.

Belarus strengthens its position at the Sant Miquel Fair – Eurofruit

It will be represented by a stand with agricultural machinery companies from that country and companies that import agricultural products such as oil, fruit, wine or cereals

Belarus will once again have a prominent presence at the Sant Miquel Fair in Lleida. For the second consecutive year, it will be represented with its own stand, in which agricultural machinery companies from that country and companies that import agricultural products such as oil, fruit, wine or cereals will be present. This year, the incorporation of the prestigious MTW tractor manufacturer, the fifth most important company in the world in its sector, stands out. It will be presented “officially” in Lleida after more than a decade of absence in Spain.

Created in 1946, Minsk Tractor Works (MTW) is one of the most important industrial companies in Belarus. It brings together 9 companies that produce parts and accessories for tractors and other vehicles, and employs some 17,000 workers. The company produces about a hundred models of vehicles, the most important of which is the “MTZ” tractor, also known as “Belarus”. The company holds an 8-10% share of the world market for wheeled tractors and exports to 60 countries on all five continents.

The space of the Republic of Eastern Europe at the Sant Miquel Fair will also be attended by Cristian Balcells, Honorary Consul of Belarus in Barcelona, with origins in Lleida and the driving force behind a task of economic revitalisation of both territories, a task that is already being translated into concrete results. The delegation is expected to be accompanied by Pavel Pustovoy, Belarusian Ambassador to Spain; Sergey Lukashevich, Economic Affairs Counsellor at the Embassy, and other members of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It should be remembered that the Belarusian presence at the Catalan agricultural show is the result of the trade mission organized jointly by the Institute of Foreign Trade (ICEX) and the Belarusian Consulate in Barcelona last June to promote the Sant Miquel-Eurofruit and Municipality Fair in Belarus.

During the course of that action, the heads of Fira de Lleida and of the BELAGRO agricultural fair signed an agreement to promote commercial contacts between both parties, basically through the presence of a joint delegation of Belarusian companies and representatives of the Belarusian Ministry of Agriculture in the Lleida fair.

It should be remembered that basically Lleida exports agri-food products and agricultural machinery in Belarus, while imports are focused on the housing sector and, to a lesser extent, on raw materials and manufactures.

In addition to its economic potential, Belarus has a strategic role in importing in the commercial field, since it is considered a gateway from Europe to a market of more than 250 million inhabitants. Other republics belonging to the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) federation are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Belarus is a very attractive country for Catalan companies as it is a large consumer of fruit, oil, wine and cava, on the one hand, and for its strategic position in the centre of Europe, on the other. In the last three years it has registered growth rates of over 6%, with a strong economic dependence on Russia due to its long membership of the Soviet Union and the productive specialisation of the centralised economies. From the time it belonged to the Soviet Union it maintains a significant industrial structure and developed agriculture, as well as a high level of training.

Despite the fact that initially, when it became independent, there was a strong process of privatization, currently 80% of industrial enterprises are in the hands of the State. As for the mining and natural resources sector, it has abundant coal and forests covering one third of the country, so the timber industry is important. In agriculture, the exploitation of products typical of the Central European area, such as potatoes, wheat, oats, rye and beet, is noteworthy. The livestock is mainly cattle. Imports of oil and other fuels are the focus of trade with Russia. The production and export of machinery, such as tractors, tools, agricultural equipment and fertilizers have a significant economic weight. The World Bank estimated an unemployment rate in Belarus of 0.5% in 2015.

The 66th edition of the Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and the 35th edition of the Eurofruit show will take place from 24th to 27th September.

Eurofruit and the Sant Miquel Fair exceeds 75% occupancy

With a leading role in the sectors of tractors, with 10,000 m2, precision agriculture, irrigation, automotive and local products

The Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and the international Eurofruit show are now over 75% occupied (out of the total 29,000 m2 of net exhibition space available), which puts this year’s hiring at almost the same level as previous years. The 66th edition of the Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and the 35th edition of the Eurofruit show will take place from 24th to 27th September.

This year the notable presence of sectors such as tractors (which will occupy a joint area of 10,000 m2), drones and precision agriculture in general, irrigation, automotive and local products should be highlighted.

The general director of Fira de Lleida, Oriol Oró, considers that “the progressive de-escalation and flexibility of the conditions of mobility of the population have increased the confidence of the exhibitors and in the last days we have noticed a sensitive increase in the rate of hiring”. Oró also recalls that this year the Lleida show will be the first major agricultural exhibition to be held in Spain, which is an added incentive for exhibitors and visitors.

Sant Miquel and Eurofruit will be exhibiting a wide range of products centred on tractors, agricultural machinery, precision agriculture, equipment and services for agriculture and livestock, local food products, the car industry, financial services and insurance.

How to switch to Intelligent Agriculture with Vunkers IoT?

  • Vunkers is a company that offers Internet Services of Things (IoT)
  • Teaching Department promotes research in Vocational Training
  • The company Vunkers bets on the creation of links with vocational training centres

Vunkers IT Experts, with more than 10 years of experience in the telecommunications sector, goes one step further and presents, in this new edition of the Sant Miquel Fair, a new branch of business: Vunkers IoT.

Taking advantage of the Fair event, the company, together with the institutes of Almenar and La Salle de Mollerussa, will present the research, innovation and development project, Agriculture with IoT, thanks to the collaboration agreement that will soon be signed with Teaching Department.

This project will be developed during the academic year in the facilities of the educational centers, as well as in the facilities of the company itself, thanks to the provision of equipment by Vunkers. Highlighting here that students will have at all times a technical advisor who will tutor them.

The aim of this initiative is to promote collaborative work between schools, to bring students closer to the current business reality and to acquire the necessary professional experience so that they are better prepared for the world of work once they have completed their studies.

Vunkers, in addition to a strong commitment to Vocational Training, is the best option for transforming agriculture, as the company has a branch of business, dedicated solely and exclusively to the Internet of things, Vunkers IoT. This division of engineers is constantly working on tailor-made IoT services projects in order to apply the advantages of an innovative, economic and very low-consumption product in the agricultural sector, independent of large operators.

The IoT equipment, developed by Vunkers, has a long autonomy, and among the projects carried out we can highlight an autonomous meteorological station and sun humidity control equipment, for optimization of irrigation with multi-user portal, both for end users and for companies that want to offer these services.


Information provided by the exhibiting company.

 

Novafrut is the reference in protection nets

Nova Fruticultura, SL. is known as Novafrut, its registered trademark.

Novafrut is based in Figueres (Girona) and has a warehouse in Mollerussa, in the Vila-Sana industrial estate (Lleida). We have distributors in Aragon, Cantabria, Portugal and Morocco.

With more than 15 years of experience in net protection installations, we have specialised initially in fruit growing but also in other areas such as farms, industries, shops and public spaces.

Where there are structures with nets, Novafrut is there.

Our asset is constant innovation in order to achieve long-lasting, effective installations that require a minimum of annual maintenance.

This is achieved with a very technical team, the use of precision GPS technology and material testing.

The most common installations that Novafrut® carries out throughout Spain are: anti-hail, anti-rain, vine training, climatic for orchards and ornamentals, anti-birds, sports nets, windbreaks, reflective fabrics and everything related to nets.

Our facilities are adapted to the most demanding requirements of each zone: strong winds, important hail, high temperatures, rocky or sandy soils, etc.

Web: www.redestecnicas.com
Facebook: @Novafrut
Twitter: @novafrut


Information provided by the exhibiting company.

TOTAL AGRI has a range of high-tech lubricants at the service of agriculture

TOTAL AGRI has a range of high-tech lubricants at the service of agriculture.

TOTAL reinforces its offer of services to agricultural professionals, thanks to a complete line of specific products for agricultural machinery.

In order to respond concretely and economically to the requirements of an activity that requires sophisticated machines, TOTAL designs innovative products, adapted to the most recent technical evolutions.

  • INTEGRAL: designed to meet the technological requirements of the latest generation of agricultural equipment as well as those of previous generations.
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE: complies with most of the international standards and approvals of the main agricultural machinery manufacturers.
  • INNOVATIVE AND UNIQUE: TOTAL lubricants is the only manufacturer to offer you different and innovative products, designed from years of research. Our Fuel Economy Lubricants and Biolubricants are a cost-effective solution to the demands of an activity in constant technological evolution and comply with environmental regulations.

www.totalagri.es

 


Information provided by the exhibiting company.

 

Fertirrigation in fruit trees: the importance of Calcium

Nutrition by means of irrigation (fertigation) entails a high demand on the fertilizer. A minimum manipulation in the place of consumption and a high precision in the contributions, are necessary to reduce the maintenance of the systems of irrigation and to increase the efficiency of the fertilizers. The content of Nitrogen in nitric form -immediately available for the plant- and the high content in Calcium are key for the obtaining of a greater production and a greater useful life of the fruits.

 

Calcium, together with nitrogen and potassium, is the most important macronutrient in stone and seed fruit trees. This nutrient is absorbed through the root apexes in ionic form, and its absorption depends on exogenous factors (water content, pH, degree of aeration, temperature…) and endogenous factors (cell wall, respiration, photosynthesis, transpiration…).

Calcium is transported to leaves and developing fruits through the current of transpiration, via xylem. The transport of calcium to the leaves seems to be more related to the growth rate of the roots than to that of the shoots (Scaife and Clarkson, 1978). During foliar and bud development, the concentration of calcium increases; therefore, large amounts of calcium are needed within the plant to ensure healthy growth.

When the fruit reaches about 50 g, more than 50% of the total amount of calcium it will finally have is already in the fruit. Therefore, it is essential that the contributions of calcium applied via soil are made before this stage; the application of calcium nitrate to the soil in spring increases the yield of the crop and at the same time provides calcium to the fruit improving its firmness. From this stage onwards, fruit sprays should be used until harvesting (mainly in pip fruit trees) to complete the calcium levels (the greater the number of applications, the better the result).

The supply of calcium increases production, fruit size and weight, firmness, colouring and acidity (vitamin C). It also increases TSS and sugar content, taste and juiciness, while reducing “bitter spot”, internal fruit rot and greening, improves resistance to Botrytis cinerea and minimizes fruit pitting.

Marschner (1995) describes that any increase in calcium concentration, however small, helps to prevent or drastically reduce economic losses caused by storage-associated diseases such as Gloesporium rot. On the other hand, Fallahi et al. (1997) states that high concentrations of calcium in fruits increase their post-harvest longevity, slowing down senescence and suppressing the decomposition produced by certain pathogenic microorganisms. In view of these premises, it is important to maintain levels above 5 mg/100 g of fresh weight at harvest time in order to minimise quality problems in storage.

 


Information provided by the exhibiting company.