Between 550 and 600ha of a South African Gala variety called Bingo Gala were planted in South Africa. The exceptionally high exportable class 1 and high color packouts of Bingo Gala have received very good feedback from the Far East, as expected, says Corné Grundlingh, TopFruit pome fruit business unit manager.
During a field day in February on the farm of the variety’s discoverer, Jannie Wiegman, in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, it was evident from the striking color of the fruit on the trees why this variety is praised for its exceptionally high color packets; she remarks. “Its full cherry red color stays the same, even after advanced maturity.”
She continues: “On this farm, Bingo Gala returned a fantastic 95% packet in the 80% to 100% color specification while an adjacent Royal Gala orchard, harvested during the same week, only returned a 44.5% color; pack out in the same color specification.”
Moreover, it’s a production-friendly and labor-friendly cultivar with a guaranteed good eating experience. When planted at a spacing of 3.5 x 1.5 meters, a potential cargo of 70 tonnes per hectare can be expected, says Dihan Blom, pome technical manager at TopFruit.
Crucially, the later color development of Bingo Gala can be directly linked to maturity, he adds, which makes it easy to determine when the fruit is at its optimal harvesting period.
“A tree has varying zones of ripeness, which an average starch measurement can’t accurately represent. Colour and ripeness together will give you a better indication of eating quality and therefore mixed maturity when harvesting Bingo Gala is highly unlikely,” he says.