Climate change

NSW state report – Oct/Nov 2018

Winter across the NSW growing regions was cold and dry. Cold nights and regular frosts ensured adequate chilling, however below average rainfall has meant that many growers started the new season with less than ideal water storage levels. At the time of writing almost 100 per cent of the state is officially drought declared. Current [...]

By |October 21st, 2018|Climate change, NSW-ACT|

Effects of climate change on apple and pear production

Australia’s climate has warmed since 1910 and is likely to continue warming, with more hot days and fewer cold days expected in future, according to State of the Climate, 2016. So how will climate change affect apple and pear production in Australia? In some horticulture industries, like vegetables, decisions relating to new plantings such as [...]

By |December 21st, 2017|Climate change, Dormancy, flowering and pollination|

Historical and future climates for Australian growing regions

Global temperatures have warmed in the past 100 years and this trend is likely to continue. What changes in climate can Australian growers expect in the future? Autumn and winter temperatures have increased in most apple and pear growing regions in Australia. Climate change refers to any long-term trends or shifts in climate [...]

By |October 1st, 2017|Climate change, Dormancy, flowering and pollination|

Website shows winter chill data for your region

A new website ( is providing access to accurate local winter chill data for Australian apple and pear growers, with benefits for in-season orchard management and long-term orchard business planning. A new website helps growers to access and interpret local winter chill data to help with crop management for the current season, as well [...]

Dormancy-breaking sprays for low chill years

By Heidi Parkes, Susie Murphy-White and Sally Bound Researchers are assessing the value of dormancy-breaking sprays to help growers encourage compact and uniform flowering in their apple orchards when it’s just not cold enough for the trees to do it on their own.   The use of dormancy-breaking sprays could help apple and pear growers adapt to warmer years because dormancy breakers can stimulate earlier, more homogenous bud burst [...]

By |July 28th, 2016|Climate change, Dormancy, flowering and pollination|

Sharing ideas to climate change-proof orchards

By Heidi Parkes At a recent event in Bilpin, NSW, local growers and national researchers got together to discuss how to reduce the vulnerability of orchards to climate change through understanding potential impacts and adopting strategies to adapt.  Bill Shields conducting a tour of his Bilpin Orchards with researchers and NSW growers to discuss [...]

By |December 4th, 2015|Climate change|

Winter is coming

Winter is often viewed as a welcome reprieve for many growers. Fruit trees also take a break over the winter period, entering dormancy in autumn to protect against cold weather damage. Over this time, trees are accumulating winter chill which influences spring flowering timing, length and strength. But what is winter chill and why does [...]

By |April 21st, 2015|Climate change, News|

Winter chill: how did 2014 compare with previous years?

With harvest now well under way with the early varieties in most states, it is timely to reflect on the success of flowering and fruit set this 2014-2015 season. Heidi Parkes, Neil White and Rebecca Darbyshire The amount of chill received in the autumn and winter is a key factor influencing flowering. Accumulation of a [...]

By |March 29th, 2015|Climate change, Dormancy, flowering and pollination|

Research roadshows on coping with extreme weather

Climate change researchers have toured Australia to share updates on their work to help growers cope with weather extremes. Heidi Parkes talks to WA growers about climate change research to help growers remain productive when weather extremes are experienced. Western Australia was the last leg of the annual National Roadshow for the apple [...]

By |October 30th, 2014|Climate change, News|

What’s the blooming difference?

By Rebecca Darbyshire and Heidi Parkes Winter and spring temperatures and their interactions, seem to influence when apple trees flower – researchers are uncovering what is really going on. Successful flowering and pollination is a critical and sensitive part of the fruit production cycle. The timing of flowering is one important aspect within this phase. [...]

By |October 23rd, 2014|Climate change, Netting, hail and sunburn|