THE LATEST GENERATION OF THE ARRA PROGRAM
ARRA Varieties were recently featured in Redagrícola. Click here to read the full article (in Spanish).
ARRA table grapes varieties are characterized by having lower thinning requirements and lower harvest costs, as well as being highly productive. ARRA is today the market leader in early white and early red varieties. Following the consolidation of ARRA 15 (ARRA Sweeties™ ) in the industry and as a replacement for Thompson seedless in the markets, the latest generation of varieties from the ARRA program come to bring greater value to the growers’ business.
The results of the past season support the productive and commercial consolidation of the white variety ARRA 15, under the commercial name ARRA Sweeties™. Variety of which about 2 million boxes were exported from Chile and more than one million boxes from Peru, for a total of 3 million boxes exported from the southern hemisphere to the US, Asia and Europe, demonstrating the wide presence of the ARRA 15 variety in different markets.
Among the main characteristics of ARRA 15 and each varieties of the ARRA program, are the high productivity and low management costs like low labor requirements in tasks such as thinning and harvesting. In other words, not only ARRA Varieties provide more income per hectare, but also lower costs per box, particularly when compared to the varieties replaces.
ARRA 15 joined the table grape offering as a natural replacement for Thompson seedless. Thompson is a well-accepted variety in the market but is no longer competitive due to its high production costs and high rejections, thus it is no longer profitable for most producers. Given the above, the characteristics of ARRA 15 make it an excellent replacement.
Although, initially, the sale price of a good Thompson was equivalent to the average price of ARRA 15, already in 2019 the average price of an ARRA 15 box was higher than the average price of a Thompson box. In a context where a good producer achieves a maximum of 15% of jumbo size with Thompson, with ARRA 15 the Jumbo size is reached without any problem in 80% of the production.
In addition to better productive performances, the market increasingly demands new varieties to have a differentiating flavor and good postharvest. Well, another important aspect for which ARRA 15 stands out is its excellent sugar-acidity balance, achieving an exquisite flavor. Likewise, ARRA 15 stands out for its good postharvest, presenting less dehydration of rachis and low incidence of rot at destination.
It is due to all these attributes that the growth in plantation of ARRA 15 is currently based on the same producers that already cultivate it, those who increase their hectarage are those that already know and obtained good results.
ARRA 29 (ARRA Passion Fire™ ) is an early red variety, with a harvest date close to Flame.
Flame, today, has practically disappeared from the Chilean supply due to its poor quality and poor arrival condition, without being even replaced by a variety that can occupy its position in the market.
This year will be the second commercial harvest of ARRA 29 in Chile and it is estimated that the exported volume will be around 1.5 million boxes. Among the main characteristics of ARRA Passion Fire™ are its spectacular red color, berry size between 22 and 24 mm, good post-harvest and conservation of the rachis. Last season, in its first year of production in Chile, it was exported to the Asian, US and European markets, achieving excellent feedback.
TABLE GRAPE VARIETIES ARRA
The latest generation varieties of the ARRA program have been developed and selected with the same characteristics that consolidated ARRA 15 among producers and in the markets. A differentiating aspect, with respect to most of the new varieties that have been incorporated into the world industry, is that the ARRA Varieties are mainly early harvest alternatives. With exceptions, of the ARRA 32, a late black variety (see picture above).
ARRA 34 DEBUTS ON THE MARKET
Still without a commercial name, ARRA 34 is a white variety with elongated berry (see photo). Early harvest date, equivalent to Superior, ARRA 34 develops berries over 3 cm long and A caliber over 22 mm, forming bunches between 50 and 60 berries (see photo). Very good rachis and postharvest life. Plants of this variety will be soon available.
ARRA 79B-44 + 1: THE BIRTH OF A STAR
One of the most promising variety on the horizon of the new alternatives that the table grape industry will have in the future. ARRA 79B-44 + 1 has obtained scores of 100 out of 100 in all its evaluations steps. It is a variety with a very attractive red color (see photo), with crunchy berry and 24 mm caliber, early harvest, very close to Flame. It is considered the best red variety developed so far by the ARRA program, obtaining the best evaluation score in each of the development stages, from Phase 1 to semi-commercial. This variety will begin to be commercialized in Chile during the next few years and ARRA 79B-44 + 1 is currently in production in some farms in Peru. Producers are already reserving plants for when they will be available in Chile.
ARRA 32, ARRA MYSTIC DREAM™, LATE BLACK
Late black variety (see photo), harvest time is close to Autumn Royal, from late February to March in central Chile. ARRA 32 is a variety of very high productivity, since it yields between 3,800-4,000 boxes per hectare. Presents large caliber, excellent color and good postharvest. It is very requiring low labor it is crunchy, and the caliber reaches 24-26mm .