Steve Spark

About Steve Spark

Horticultural Consultant, AgFirst, New Zealand

Winter management critical for fruit quality

Now the pressure has come off after a busy harvesting season, winter is a great time to review the successes of the season and, more importantly, where you didn’t quite hit the home runs you were after. Once this has been done you can plan a new, improved strategy for next season. As you often hear, “the definition [...]

By |June 25th, 2018|Future Orchards, Pruning and training|

What varieties should I plant?

No matter where you grow pome fruit in the world, every grower at one time or another will ask themselves, ‘What variety should I plant?’. Although a simple question, it can prove one of the most difficult to answer. Some growers are perceived to be more adept at picking variety ‘winners’ than others. My experience [...]

By |June 1st, 2017|Future Orchards, Varieties and rootstock|

Focus Orchard Trial Update January 2017

By Steven Spark and Yvette Jones (AgFirst) Small scale on-orchard trials are a regular part of the Future Orchards® project and occur across all growing regions. Not only does this encourage innovation at an orchard level but gives growers an opportunity to implement the latest research and development ideas and techniques available to them on-orchard. This [...]

By |March 1st, 2017|Future Orchards|

Future Orchards wrap – winter 2016

From 13 to 17 June the Southern Loop Future Orchards® walks took place throughout Australia, starting in Manjimup, then moving onto the Adelaide Hills, Hobart and finishing in Southern Victoria. A similar program was run two weeks later for the northern growing districts. The quality of the orchard venues presented to the 200 odd growers [...]

By |July 20th, 2016|Future Orchards, Pruning and training|

Platforms for increased labour efficiency

The benefits of platforms for increasing orchard labour efficiency was the focus of the June 2016 winter Future Orchards®  presentation given by Steve Spark, of AgFirst. Platforms for increased labour efficiency – notes Platforms for increased labour efficiency – presentation

Overcoming the effects of spring frost

Author: Steve SparkAgFirst+64 3 528 0330sspark @agfirst.co.nz Steve Spark summarises the tools available to growers to reduce the risk of spring frosts and how to use Focus Orchard trial results to reduce the impact of spring frost this year and next. Last spring many growers across the country were severely affected by spring [...]

By |June 23rd, 2014|Future Orchards, Netting, hail and sunburn|