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PIPS 3: Developing smarter and sustainable pear orchards

Industry Best Practice

Hort Innovation has kicked off the third Apple and Pear industry Productivity, Irrigation, Pests and Soils (PIPS3) program.

The program, funded by Hort Innovation using the apple and pear R&D levy and funds from the Australian Government covers apple and pear orchards across the country and focuses on new technology and advanced management systems and applying integrated biological management to pests, diseases and soil. The four projects involved have been developed to conduct integrated research activities and provide whole orchard system outputs and outcomes for the apple and pear industry.

AP19005: Developing smarter and sustainable pear orchards to maximise fruit quality, yield and labour efficiency is being led by Agriculture Victoria’s Research Leader for Crop Physiology, Dr Ian Goodwin. In the video below he provides an overview of how the research will be undertaken and the outcome benefits for pear growers and their business sustainability and profitability.

This project will be undertaken in the experimental pear orchard at the Tatura SmartFarm and in commercial orchards in the Goulburn Valley to:

  • Determine training system, planting density and rootstock effects on yield, fruit quality and irrigation requirements.
  • Determine crop load regulation that minimises biennial bearing and maximises fruit quality and yield.
  • Investigate the determinants of colour expression.
  • Explore effects of alternate-side coloured hail netting to maximise fruit colour/minimise sun damage.
  • Calibrate and validate a mobile sensing platforms equipped with LiDAR and optical cameras (Green Atlas CartographerTM).


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