Juice gives fresh control at Huon Valley

Fourth generation Huon Valley apple and pear grower Mark Duggan knew things had to change when his return for a year’s hard work didn’t even cover costs. “We had a year where we just got nothing,” he said. “We knew we had to do something. We had to look outside the square. Cider was taking [...]

By |April 17th, 2019|Profile, Tasmania, Value added products|

Simplifying quality at Nightingales

Simplicity is not the first word that springs to mind when considering the complexity of running five orchards across two states, a large packhouse and a fledgling cider operation. But at Nightingale Brothers, based in Victoria’s north east, continually striving for a way of delivering better quality more efficiently and smoothly is a goal that [...]

Eyeing the future of robotics

Robotics and automation will play a key role in fifth-generation fruit grower Mitchell McNab’s plans to drive efficiencies and quality in his Goulburn Valley family orchard. Using remote sensors established across the orchard, Mitchell measures soil moisture to help manage water requirements. For more than a century H.V. McNab & Son Pty Ltd [...]

New varieties provide inspiration and return

The first block of trees Huon Valley fifth-generation apple grower Scott Stevenson pushed out after taking over the family orchard business last July was the same block his father Adrian first planted when he in his own turn began running the business 38 years earlier. Scott and his father Adrian on the property in [...]

By |September 3rd, 2018|Profile, Tasmania, Varieties and rootstock|

Labour shortfall prompts automation research

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. As the technical manager for Geoffrey Thompson Fruit Packing at Shepparton, Bisi oversees all quality control and compliance aspects of one of Australia’s biggest [...]

Determination to stop hail damage grows netting business

Wild weather events that can damage crops, such as the hail storms that hit Victorian and South Australian fruit growers last year, highlight the importance of protecting fruit trees with netting. Thirteen years ago Michael Cunial decided he’d had enough of losing crops to hail damage in his Orange, NSW, orchard and he wanted to [...]

By |February 21st, 2018|Netting, hail and sunburn, NSW-ACT, Profile|

WA family legacy of quality apple production

The Fontaninis are combining the old and new, by continuing a family legacy of growing fruit, while embracing innovation. Husband and wife team Trevor and Carmel Fontanini are gradually stepping back and handing the reins of running their 128-hectare property to their children Lucy and Joe. The siblings are now fourth-generation orchardists at the lush, [...]

By |December 21st, 2017|Profile, WA|

Drive and passion powering growth at Prima Fresh

A passion for brand and a tireless focus on improving quality and reducing unit costs are making dreams come true for Prima Fresh owner Gerard Alampi. In just 14 years since taking over the Tatura-based family business in 2003, the 35-year-old third-generation fruitgrower has taken it from a small family concern packing around 8,000 bins [...]

By |October 1st, 2017|Profile, Victoria|

Smarter control of orchard pests with IPM

With a reduced reliance on pesticides, taking an integrated pest management approach – combining biological, cultural and, as a last result, chemical control – might seem a little daunting at first. But with pesticide resistance a concern into the future, Dr Paul Horne of IPM Technologies is encouraging more growers to give it a go. [...]

By |July 5th, 2017|Pests, diseases and weeds, Profile|

Innovation the family way at Montague

When Bill Montague planted Jonathan, Statesmen and Stewart Seedling apples in 1950 little could he have foreseen that almost 70 years later his one-man-band would have become a thriving operation marketing in excess of 58,000 tonnes of fruit a year and a byword for industry innovation and excellence. Like those first apple trees planted in [...]

By |June 1st, 2017|Branding, Profile, Varieties and rootstock, Victoria|