The frequent flooding and storms that hit the world demands more resilient varieties of table grapes

It is not difficult to see that large-scale climate events which range from extreme dry spells to abrupt flooding are creating havoc for fresh fruit farmers from all over the world. This is particularly true of table grapes which have always had a tendency to be sensitive to the slightest amount of rain as floods and storms typically causing massive catastrophes for farmers.

Shachar Karniel as well as The ARRA fire Crunch Table Grapes.

The Grapa team Grapa the breeder and licensee of ARRA varieties has, together with their partner Giumarra Vineyards’, experienced the effects of this in real-time during the time that Tropical Storm Hilary struck California during the height of producers of table grapes. This was the first tropical storm to strike this region of the US West Coast in more than eight years, and it brought an entire year’s worth of rainfall within a few days.

“With each day that passed the evidence became more apparent that the grapes of the San Joaquin Valley had endured severe damage because of the torrential rains that came in at an un-expected time. In the end, it exposed farmers to huge loss. Grapa Varieties is a family-owned firm, that concentrates on farmers, understands profoundly with the situation.” Says Nomi Karniel Padan, Grapa’s Commercial Director.

In the words of Uzi Yaron the Groapa’s R&D Director sensitivity of table grapes to drastic climate changes is particularly evident for mid-late grape varieties, whose season extends into the latter part of the year “In regions that were in complete dry during this time of the season, we’re now begin to see rain that wasn’t always a problem previously, and this was also the case in last year’s period for South Africa and Namibia. The patterns of rain are changing and bringing massive downpours from the normal rainy seasons, and even in areas such as India. If, for instance, in California there was a storm during August, it’s crucial breeding companies to produce breeds that are safe for the agriculturalists.”

“Hilary served as a loud and unambiguous message about the necessity of varieties that are weather-proof as many varieties in the ARRA variety have proved to be. The ARRA breeding facility situated in the grape-growing regions of California, saw 80 to 100 millimeters however the ARRA varieties ‘ grapes did not suffer. After a few days, varieties like ARRA Crush ™, ARRA Mystic Dream(tm), Crush(tm), ARRA Sweeties(tm), ARRA Mystic Dream(tm) and ARRA Fire Crunch(tm) did not show any cracks in any way. If the variety isn’t able to hold rain, it’s not worth worrying about whether one of its berries breaks, the whole will be gone. The ARRA cultivars hold rain extremely well, thereby significantly decreasing the chance of damage in uncertain weather patterns,” explains Yaron.

Click here to see the varieties without cracks, 4 days after the rains in the firsthand.

Joe Giumarra, Giumarra Vineyards” and the ARRA Fire Crunch Harvest two weeks after the hurricane.

Genetics talk

In this video, which was shot 2 weeks after the hurricane, Joe Giumarra, Giumarra Vineyards Vice President for Farming showcases his late-mid varieties which survived the hurricane. Go to the video.

In addition to the traits of the variety and characteristics, the program gained important experience and information through the years of working in difficult tropical environments throughout Brazil as well as India which made it possible to ensure that they succeed and prosper in new places which also face unseasonal rainfall. Karniel Padan recounts a touching moment: “During my visit to India an ARRA variety grower I met expressed how thankful they feel for the varieties that will ensure their survival as they are confident that no matter what happens to their crops, even severe rain outside of the season, they won’t be able to harvest their crops”

Reduces the risk of damaging weather

They also provide the option of a sustainable choice because Karniel Padan states: “The ARRA short cycle varieties enable growers to reduce the duration of the season as well as exposure to elements. This further improves sustainability because they require less water, using fewer pesticides or fungicides, less emissions and a lesser amount of labour. The result is a reduction in the total environmental impact from grape production. Our display stand of our variety of table grapes during the most recent Asia Fruit Logistica show located in Hong Kong was also an unexpected opportunity to showcase how resilient the ARRA varieties that come from California in the wake of the severe rainfall that hit the state during August.” she states.

Go to Grapa on Hall 8 booth 8C19 at Fruit Attraction in Madrid and the IFPA Global Produce Show in Anaheim, CA, and get to know their colleagues Giumarra. Giumarra team in the IFPA stand 2372.

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Grapa Varieties