Advice&Consulting makes use of the latest methods in planning, management and analysis to create detailed business plans, which describe the strategic actions, timetables and investments required to bring the project to fruition as well as analysing the break-even point.
Setting up an orchard is a project aimed at making profits and in order to do so it has to meet the market demands for fruit.
Which types of fruit are the most profitable? What colour apple do consumers want? Do they prefer a polished or matt surface? Does the market demand faster or slower ripening stone fruits.? Do consumers want a sweeter or more sour flavour? These are just some of the questions to ask when deciding what fruit type and variety to plant, which cultivation method to use and how to implement the agronomic management of the orchard. The answers to these questions and the ensuing choices will determine the success of the project.
CHOOSING THE LOCATION AND TERRAIN
Before setting up any kind of fruit orchard, you have to think about the terrain it will be on because it will stay there and need maintaining for the next 20 years or more.
The location is fundamental: it should be in a sunny, well-aired position with easy access, especially for transporting the freshly harvested fruit, in order to keep it in the best possible condition even in unfavourable seasons. Water of a sufficient quantity and quality must be available to carry out irrigation during the summer months (fruit is made up of about 90% water).
The terrain is not only the base for anchoring and supporting our plants, but also the source of nutrition needed, first of all, for the development of the roots and consequently all the parts above ground. For example, the branches that will produce and grow the fruit, which has to go on and meet the demands of an increasingly sophisticated market for foodstuffs in general and fruit produce in particular.
ANALYSING THE SOIL AND IRRIGATION WATER
After identifying the area where the plants will grow, you have to carry out a full analysis of the soil and irrigation water, to make sure it is compatible with the fruit bearing plants we want to cultivate. The decision whether to use nutritional elements or not is important, but even more important is the PH result, the presence of salts and carbonates, because if these values are high, they limit the growth and development of the plants.
Soil analysis is an indispensable tool for:
- identifying any lack of nutritional elements that could affect yield;
- deciding how to carry out the agricultural processes (preparation, irrigation, choice of variety and rootstocks);
- quantifying the availability of nutritional elements in the soil in order to reduce fertilizing.