|Authors: ||Q.J. Zhang, D.J. Gu, K.H. Yu, Z.H. Zhou|
|Keywords: ||Prunus avium, cultivar performance, dormancy, environmental factors, yield|
The development of techniques for early greenhouse sweet cherry production in northern China has been successful.
The cultivars best suited to greenhouse production are 'Red Lamp', 'Tieton', 'Summit', 'Van', 'Lapins', and 'Santina'. The earliest cultivar is 'Red Lamp' with 45 days from flowering to harvest.
October 20-25th was the optimum time for covering greenhouses with thick, light blocking material to induce dormancy and meet the chill requirement of the trees.
Depending on the weather conditions, December 10-20th was the usual time for trees to break dormancy.
For reliable cropping, three stages for temperature and humidity management were identified: 5-18°C, 70-80% at budding, 17-19°C, 50-60% at flowering, 22-25°C, 50- 60% during fruit development.
Humidity control was necessary during fruit ripening to avoid fruit cracking.
The yield ranged from 6000 to 7500 kg ha-1. High quality fruit was harvested from the middle of March to the end of April during a time when there are no local or imported fresh cherries available.
Consequently market prices were exceptionally high.
Gross margin analysis indicated net returns (income - direct costs) to be as high as 975,000 Yuan ha-1. Early sweet cherry production in northern China has the potential to generate high economic returns for producers, strengthen the local economy and meet consumer demands.
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