Fluctuations and yield loss of Mediterranean pine nut crops in the province of Valladolid
A meeting and public discussion about recently observed yield losses in quantity and quality of Mediterranean stone pine cones took place on 1 October 2013. Around 200 pine cone pickers and a good screening of the most relevant processing industry from Spain and Portugal gathered in the village of Pedrajas de San Esteban, a rural community where pine nut industry is one of the major sectors of local economy.
Regional Stakeholder Event , Pedrajas de San Esteban, 1 October 2013.
The meeting was organised by StarTree project partner INIA-CIFOR, jointly with the Regional Government of Castile-Leon and the regional Forest Owners Association ASFOVA and members of the regional stakeholder group.
Both the INIA-CIFOR and the forest administration have monitored annual pine cone production since 1996. Observations include strong masting and a dramatically decreasing seed output in recent years. One of the main research lines deals with the implication of pest damages caused by cone boring or sucking insects, especially the exotic, recently introduced, Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis, that cause conelet abscission (pre-harvest cone loss) in the trees and also elevated percentages of empty seeds in the cones harvested.
During the meeting, stakeholders from the province, as well as representatives of the most relevant pine nut industries in Castilla-León, Andalusia, Catalonia and Portugal discussed the phenomena and the economic problem for the sector, as well as possible solution strategies. Further research will focus on an integrated approach to population control strategies for cone-destroying insects such as Dioryctria mendacella or the Leptoglossus bug.
In the press / prensa castellana