Plantations have started to produce between 4 and 6 years old, although recently and especially in the south, some orchards have started in their third year (one of them at two years and 8 months in the field).
As we discussed with members of the Chilean Truffle Growers Association (atchile.cl) last week, there are 14 plantations in production so far.
The 2015 season ended with about 45-50 kilos of black truffle in total. We know this is not pretty much but this is just the beginning and if things are done well (and they are doing so :-)) production should be increased exponentially in a few years.
There are a couple of plantations with commercial production volumes. One of them, in the picture, has produced 20 kilos this campaign.
This particular plantation and unlike most Chilean ones is on a rather poor sandy loam soil, low in organic matter (and therefore lighter in color). In fact in the top image can be seen as now, in early spring, some oaks begins to show chlorosis, which is corrected promptly. We suppose that’s why these trees have a much lower growth rate than the average for the country (pictured oaks are 8 years old).
Brules in these pictures are due to the effect of the truffle and not from any work or herbicide (in fact weeds are controled with a “fast mowing” of 700 sheeps twice a year) and indeed this second picture clearly shows “brule” aggressiveness and progress (yellow tone herbs) up to half a meter in some areas.
Marcos S. Morcillo