Australian Fruitgrower – Apr/May 2018

At the time of writing this harvest is well underway, with indications that marketable apple volumes will be lower than in 2017, primarily driven by a reduced Granny Smith crop in the Goulburn Valley and the hail event that has impacted the South Australian crop.

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Profile

If there’s a single common challenge hovering over Australia’s pome fruit industry it’s labour – specifically, a shortage thereof – prompting 2018 Nuffield scholar Bisi Oladele to look into packhouse automation.

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Business management

The 2018 Australian apple and pear crop will be up three per cent on last year’s levels.

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The Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) is helping to supply labour to farmers.

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The Fair Farms Initiative aims to foster good employment practices across horticulture.

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Research & development

Researchers are uncovering the chill requirements of pear cultivars including Deliza®, Lanya®, ANP-0534, and Piqa®Boo®.

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Research updates regarding nursery, genetics and cultivars, production, pests and diseases, post-harvest and processing.

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Marketing

New sales data released by Hort Innovation has revealed that in-store sampling of Packham pears over summer boosted sales by 24 per cent in Woolworths stores where sampling occurred.

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Orchard management

The theme the Future Orchards® team will address over the next 12 months is ‘quality’.

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A new integrated pest, diseases and weed management project has commenced.

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Events

The countdown is on for Hort Connections 2018, the national, combined horticulture industry conference.

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The 2018 Cider Industry Conference will be held in Batlow on 18 May, and the Batlow CiderFest on 19 May.

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State reports

By |April 20th, 2018|Australian Fruitgrower|

About the Author:

APAL is an industry representative body and non-profit membership organisation that supports Australia’s commercial apple and pear growers.