Year of grant:
Expanding berry production in the North Atlantic region
Dag Røen, Jón Kr. Arnarson, Anders Iversen
Grant from the FRC in DKK:
The main objective of this project is to form the base for a commercial production of berries in plastic tunnels in Iceland, Faroe Island and Greenland, aiming at a future supply of the domestic market in these countries with locally produced fresh berries. Technology from existing production of berries in plastic tunnels in Norway will then be transferred and adapted to local conditions. During the project period tunnels, berry cultivars and production methods will be tested by commercial growers at Iceland and at Research stations in Faroe Island and Greenland. A central part of the project is also further development of plastic tunnel construction to withstand stronger wind pressure. The result from the project will also benefit growers to coastal and northern parts of Norway as tunnels, methods and cultivars will be tested in comparable climatic conditions.
The main objective of the project has been to form the base for a commercial production of berries in plastic tunnels or cheap greenhouses in Iceland, Faroe Islands and Greenland. The long-term objective has been a future supply of the domestic market in these countries with locally produced fresh berries.
The test tunnel of 240 m2 was put up by grower Jákup K. Bærentsen at Sund in June 2011 (project year 1). In 2011 plastic was taken off the tunnel in late September. Due to wind at that time, the plastic was damaged and new plastic was bought and put on in 2012 season. It turned out that the door solution was not optimal, as the plastic on doors were easily damaged by wind during summer. The plastic in the doors were exchanged with a stronger plastic summer 2012. A storm on September 4 2012 with gusts up to 50 m/s completely destroyed the tunnel. The grower did not want to build a new tunnel or plastic house. A new partner, ALS, entered the project with their old greenhouses, and continued the test production of strawberries there.
Plants and production
Strawberry and raspberry plants were planted in the tunnel in June 2011. The first strawberry crop was harvested in the test tunnel in summer 2011. All plants survived the winter 2011/2012 well, but many raspberry buds were damaged by frost during a storm in May 2012 before the plastic was put on again. The strawberry plants did not suffer damage from this event. Strawberry harvest in 2012 started 9 July. Strawberry yield was between 170 and 840 g per plants depending on cultivar, with Frida giving the highest yield. Berry size per cultivar varied between 12 and 20 g. Total growth season under plastic was 3 months and 1 week. Berries were still harvested when the tunnel was destroyed by wind September 4 2012. The grower, Jákup K. Bærentsen, kept the strawberry plants outdoor in 2013. In 2013 the project continued in an old non-heated greenhouse by ALS in Sandavágur. The harvest started 19 May, and the yield was significantly higher than in the tunnel the year before and the harvesting season lasted much longer.
All strawberries from the test tunnel in 2012 were sold to the restaurant at Hotel Føroyar for a price of 150 DKK per kg. In 2013 ALS sold all the berries at the nursery and at differents markets around for a price of DKK 200 per kg. The quality from both locations was excellent, and the consumers.
The raspberry plants from Jákup K. Bærentsen were moved to the greenhouses of ALS, and will produce the first yield there in 2014.
ALS will continue their strawberry production in 2014, as well as they will extend and increase the raspberry production.
Article in Aftenbladet, Norway
Article in Deutsch-Farøischen Freunderkreises
Article in Våronnavisa 2013, Norway
Article in NRK Sápmi, Norway
A number of reports available at Búnaðarstovan.