The boom of the commercial apple production in Brazil was set by the '70s, since up to this date there were few commercial orchards, representing less than 100ha. By the initiative of some pioneer growers, and the fiscal incentive that allowed investing part of the income tax on orchard implantation and the support of state governments to developing projects, the apple culture had and expressive boost from the '80s. In the '70s, Brazil depended on importations, what represented at that time more than 100million dollars. The production was approximately 13,263ton and reached 183,299ton and 857,615ton in the '80s and '90s, respectively. Recently, Brazil has reached an producing area of around 37,000ha with 3450 growers, and in 2009/2010 it was harvested 1,253 thousand tons of apples. Since 1994, Brazil became an apple exporter, and after 2000 exportations have beaten importations. The apple sector is an important source of employment generation with three direct and indirect jobs per hectare, representing more than 100 thousand employment in the apple productive chain. These advances are due to important technologies that were introduced throughout the years, which also let an increase of quality and yield per unit of area; in the '70s and '80s yield was inferior to 15ton/ha and nowadays is near to 40ton/ha, although some areas produce above 50ton/ha. Evolution also occurred with the cultivars. The first plantings were based on the cultivars Golden Delicious, Starkrimson, Blackjon, etc. These cultivars were progressively being substitute by 'Gala' and 'Fuji', and from the '90s clones that produce redder fruits of both cultivars were planted. Greater progress occurred to the quality of the vegetative material, since rootstocks and scions were virus-contaminated. The introduction of free-virus material led to an increase in yield and to the use of dwarfing rootstocks in high density orchards. The first apple orchards were performed with 500 to 800 trees per hectare; currently, orchard density consists of 2500 to 3000 trees per hectare. As the apple producing region in the South of Brazil has no adequate chilling to attempt the requirements to release dormancy, technologies were developed to induce bud burst and blooming, and consequently no alternate bearing. Besides these technologies, it must be highlighted the advances in the training systems and pruning, harvest management, chemical thinning, pollination, phytosanitary control and fruit conservation and storage. Moreover, the latter permitted the market supplying for twelve months of the year with high quality fruits. Apple was the pioneer fruit in the implantation of the integrated production system and the first Brazilian fruit to be certified in this system.
Petri, J. L., Leite, G. B., Couto, M., & Poliana Francescatto, E. (2011). Avanços na Cultura da Macieira no Brasil. Revista Brasileira de Fruticultura, 33(SPEC. ISSUE 1), 048–056. https://doi.org/10.1590/s0100-29452011000500007