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Future Orchards® – Tasmanian demonstration trial updates

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At the recent harvest orchard walk the Tasmanian growers discussed the results of the their local Future Orchards® Demonstration trials. Tasmanian FLA, Sophie Folder explained, “The trial topics were quite fitting with the labour theme for the orchard walk as two of the trials related back to labour efficiency and labour management principles”.

A hand thinning trial in Smitten® apples investigated the labour efficiency and costs associated with hand thinning at different timings after full bloom. The later thinning dates were shown to be more efficient to thin, cost less per hectare and showed little impact on fruit size and maturity at harvest.

A trial investigating the effect of harvest maturity and PGR (Harvista™) on Gala eating experience highlighted the importance of picking Gala at its optimum maturity to ensure the best consumer eating experience. The results also showed that Harvista was an effective tool to delay ripening without detriment to eating quality.

Sophie explained with the current labour shortages currently being experienced, PGR’s such as Harvista are very useful tool for growers to consider to help them spread their harvest window to aid them to get their fruit picked at the optimum maturity with the labour resources they have.

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