Support for

Creating a better future for Australian apple and pear growers,
through industry leadership and commercial advancement.


Pear Production Systems for Future Climates

The research

This project is aiming to address challenges in pear production associated with temporal and spatial variation in crop load and fruit quality (size and colour) by:

  • Developing and testing profitable spatial and temporal management strategies that maximise quality for pear consumers, focusing on size and colour.
  • Investigating profitable crop load management strategies and technologies for pear production within the Australian environment.
  • Demonstrating the potential of pear orcharding evidenced-based sustainability performance measures, primarily focusing on water use efficiency.
  • Testing zonal management, thinning methods and robotic harvesting options to increase labour use efficiency in Australian pear orchards.

The activities

Experiments are being conducted at Agriculture Victoria’s Tatura SmartFarm and in commercial orchards of Victoria’s Goulburn Valley, encompassing:

  • Fruit colour and sun damage: Reflective mulch timing, leaf blowing and evaporative cooling (and disease risk); Netting design and type (spectral transmission, effects on insects including pollinators); Spray-on products and effects on fruit surface temperature; Effects of intermittent fruit shading during the daytime.
  • Crop Load Management: Hand, mechanical and chemical thinning, and comparison of financial benefits and costs; Floral initiation, polliniser synchronicity and fruit set studies.
  • Use of sensing technologies to map orchard fruit number and colour to inform zonal management and evaluate the associated profitability benefit.
  • Monitoring and benchmarking irrigation water use across orchards using advanced technologies.
  • Testing and evaluating the potential economic feasibility of prototype robotic harvesters in increasing labour use efficiency in Australian pear orchards.
  • PhD on genetic sequencing and phenotypic expression of new pear selections from the Australian breeding program as well as established cultivars.


Further information contact details:
Dr Ian Goodwin
Research Leader Crop Physiology, Agriculture Victoria
[email protected]

  • Lead Researcher

    Dr Lexie McClymont
  • Email

  • Lead Agency

    Agriculture Victoria
  • Project Research Partners

    Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund, Agriculture Victoria, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture

PIPS 4 Profit


Research Partners