In the Lot, cherry growers are betting on a good season

the essential
The estimated quantity varies from producer to producer but everyone is unanimous on the quality: the cherry will be very fleshy and fragrant. The season looks good.

This year the planets are aligned. The winter was quite cold, the spring frost-free and humid. All seems to be going well for the cherry growers. And it’s not Mathieu Soulayres, horticulturist in Parnac and present on the Cahors market who says otherwise. He started picking the first cherries a week ago. A normal calendar: “Last year we started earlier, there was an advantage due to a very mild winter and a very hot spring with early vegetation.” Last spring was just awful for farmers. “We were only able to harvest 40% of the production due to the frost, or between 3 and 4 tons, it was really complicated,” recalls the producer who runs Gaec Soulayres with his father, Philippe. This year the family is betting on 10 tons, double that. “Here, we’ll take care of most of the harvest,” he slips. In quantity, therefore, the result seems to be there.

And for quality, all the lights are green too: “For the moment it’s fine, it’s nice, we’re looking at the weather, it doesn’t need too much rain but they’re good quality like last year”. He promises a “fleshy and very fragrant cherry, which still lacks a little sugar but that is normal at the beginning of the season when the sun is not out”.

8 euros per kilo

The price displayed on its stand is lower than last year, at the same time: count all the same 8 euros per kilo. “Cherry is one of the most expensive products,” he points out. The manufacturer has invested, for example, in rain and insect nets.

In Molières, in Quercy, on the Tarn-et-Garonne slope, on the edge of the Lot, Pascal Barriety made the same observation: cherries are expensive to produce. He did the calculations. According to him, an investment of 60,000 euros is needed to produce one hectare of organic cherries. For his Burlat, his Summit and his Folfer, the producer is not organic but “it’s just like”. He warns that in Molières his harvest of him will not be complete this year. “We have half the quantity compared to last year, I expect only between 2 and 3 tons, while last year I had between 8 and 10”, he says. Impossible to explain it. Perhaps frosts “in stage B of the cherry”, that is when the bud begins to enlarge, in February “and in this period we are less vigilant”. Or maybe poor pollination during flowering. The fact remains that the first cherries arrived from him a week ago and the quality is there. “It’s a fairly constant quality fruit and then, it’s always good even if it’s not because we’re so happy to eat the first fruits of summer”, he smiles.

Add a Comment