Sunday, April 14

The period for applications to obtain the cork quality estimation service is open

The objective is that they can know the quality of their cork before the extraction takes place / today

The owners of cork oak forests will be able to request from this Monday, March 7, until May 31, the service of estimating the quality of cork in the field of ICMC-CICYTEX

The Institute of Cork, Wood and Charcoal (ICMC), a center attached to CICYTEX, has opened the deadline to request the cork quality estimation service in the field or Plan de Calas. This is a service that the center offers to owners and managers of estates that are going to be uncorked during the current campaign. The objective is that they can know the quality of their cork before the extraction takes place. This information is especially useful for marketing the product.

Interested persons have until May 31 to process their request, through the forms available on the CICYTEX website, after paying the corresponding fees.

Work procedure

To determine the average quality of the cork production of a subericultural farm, specialized technicians from the Institute apply their own sampling method that begins in the field with the collection of samples, also called coves, 75 in total, with a minimum size of 12×12 centimeters.

Later they are transferred to the ICMC facilities, equipped with the necessary infrastructure to subject the coves to a process similar to the one followed by the industry. First, the samples are dried to obtain a commercially dehumidified cork; then they are rolled up and cooked. The next step is to cut the coves giving uniformity to their dimensions, so they can better observe the qualities of the cork. Finally they measure its caliber. The appearance of the cork and its thickness will be the parameters that determine its quality.

technical reports

Once the procedure is finished, they issue two technical reports. The first with information on the quality of the cork, percentage of each class, comparison in relation to the regional and county average values, main alterations and recommendations to improve this quality in the medium and long term.

The second report, based on forestry data taken in the field, collects information on land use, livestock management, phytosanitary status of the farm, evaluation of previous pruning and corking, and recommendations for forest management, among other issues.

The information obtained from the plan of coves, whose samples are kept in the Institute’s Suberoteca, will also serve to carry out quality studies.

Recommendations for uncorking

On the other hand, with a view to the uncorking campaign that begins in mid-May, the Institute of Cork, Wood and Charcoal recalls the advisability of applying certain measures so that this operation is carried out without causing damage to the cork oak, since these wounds reduce the productive surface of the tree and favor the entry of diseases and pests.

Among other recommendations, they advise respecting the minimum uncorking shift set at 9 years, not extracting the cork that does not come off properly, not removing it on days of rain or drying wind, avoiding very weakened cork oaks and properly finishing off the necks and shoes to close the pathogen entry.

Likewise, to carry out an adequate uncorking, it is important to take into account the weather conditions. In cold and/or rainy springs, it is advisable to wait up to a month after the new leaves sprout. On the contrary, in case of drought it is advisable to do it as soon as the cork is good, since the difficulty in extracting it associated with the scarcity of water increases as the summer progresses. In addition, it is necessary to start with the areas that will suffer the effect of this drought first, that is, high areas, with little depth of soil, with soils with a sandy texture and close to floodable areas.

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