For many agricultural producers in Almería, such as José Antonio Ramos, the 2019-2010 season has already come to an end and now is the time to clean and prepare the farm for the next fruit and vegetable campaign, which in his case will start in late July with the planting. Ramos owns 2.5 hectares of greenhouse space in El Ejido, which are exclusively used for the production of Rijk Zwaan's Palermo peppers, a sweet Italian red pepper.
Ramos Pardo uprooted the pepper plants in mid-May, cleaned everything up and proceeded with the plasticizing of the soil. "To achieve a good disinfection you have to leave the plastic for more than a month; at least 30 or 40 days. After that, the plastic is lifted and preparations for the new sowing begin." The producer explains that the thin plastic that is placed on the ground, together with the water and the high temperatures, ensure a good disinfection, killing weeds, fungi and so on and leaving the soil in optimal conditions ahead of the start the new campaign.
After sowing and caring for the plants, José Antonio Ramos starts harvesting around late October or early November.
This grower from Almería makes use of biological control techniques for his production. "Those of us carrying out a single harvest release their 'bugs' and look after them all year round. You have to monitor them and replace them, so now, when the season starts again, I will have to introduce the new insects.”
As far as the balance of the agricultural season is concerned, Ramos says that in general terms, it has not been a bad year. In the specific case of peppers, the early ones only covered the production costs and generated no profit. In the end, however, prices have gone up, so late peppers have generated a profit.