The cultivation of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) has recently attracted the interest of many farmers in inland areas of Sicily, where the crop was diffused from the twelfth century. At that time the stigmas were used to produce “Piacentinu Ennese”, typical cheese aromatizated with saffron of Enna Province, recognized since some years by the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). The cultivation of this species could help, in addition to ensure the brand PDO, to support the integrative farm income in marginal areas of the island characterized by low levels of farm mechanization as well as difficulties for irrigation. In this frame, we carried out a preliminary experimental trial to evaluate the productivity of the crop in central Sicily using corms acquired in Sardinia and classified into three weight categories:>40 g, 40÷20 g and <20 g; the corms were transplanted the first decade of August 2004, plant density of 25 corms m-2, and grown in dry conditions adopting polyannual growing cycle. After three years of production, we registered good crop adaptability to climatic conditions, high yields and a significant positive correlation between production of stigmas and corm size. The average yield of the three categories of corm weight was in the first year 0.6 g m-2, in the second 1.9 g m-2 and finally in the third it has dropped considerably with values equal to 0.4 g m-2. The acquired information can support the cultivation of this species in the marginal areas of Sicily (Mathew, 1977; Basker et al., 1983; Fernandez, 2004; Argento et al., 2006; Gresta et al., 2008a, b).
|Titolo:||Evaluation of Saffron Pluriannual Growing Cycle in central Sicily|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2010|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|