Stoves between the rows to save the cherries from sudden frosts

The method applied by the farmers of the Val di Non due to the plummeting temperatures after the mild climate of recent weeks

The sudden frosts put the cherries at risk and in Val di Non the stoves are lit between the rows. In the Trentino area, famous for the production not only of apples, but also of cherries and other small fruits, the plants have already started flowering, thanks to the decidedly mild climate of recent weeks; however, the sudden drop in temperatures risks jeopardizing annual production: at the bottom of the valley the temperature is, in fact, around the freezing point while in the hills it drops several degrees below zero. So in the valley the farmers have placed pellet stoves (woody biomass) along the rows.

The method, tested and developed starting in 2017 by the Edmund Mach Foundation, a historic institute for the development of scientific research in the agricultural field, is particularly useful for cherries, which are very sensitive to sudden changes in temperature, especially for the Kordia variety, the most cultivated in the Trentino hills.

The ignition of the ‘heaters’ is carried out just before reaching the critical temperatures. And it usually follows the placement of sheets that help not to disperse the heat, increasing the effectiveness of the intervention. A far from easy job for farmers, who have to act quickly in the middle of the night and place a large number of stoves per hectare.