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Ongoing project

National tree crop intensification program (AS18000) – Almond

What's it all about?

This investment is part of a collaborative R&D program of tree crop-specific projects established to deliver step-change orchard system intensification knowledge, understanding and technical advancements to the almond industry.

The project is delivering new knowledge for almond growers that supports the need to change traditional growing systems to increase yields and orchard profits. The end goal is to increase productive yield per hectare and grower profit with improved nut quality, as well as orchards that are better suited to “shake and catch” harvesting methods.

The research involves:

  • Developing options on how to redesign new orchards with new cultivars, rootstocks and intensive growing systems.
  • Working alongside almond breeders to identify architectural traits associated with high productivity and suitability for more intensive growing systems.
  • Identifying new cultivars with improved architecture that can support high crop loads on narrow tree structure and development of management systems to grow these trees at high density.
  • Testing responses to various training and pruning systems, commencing in the nursery with central leader trees to produce upright, narrow canopies that promote precocity and high yields with new cultivars and rootstock.

By the conclusion of the project, the project team will be able to provide the almond industry with recommendations on:

  • Methods to identify almond genotypes with compatible tree architecture
  • Scion and rootstock combinations
  • Planting distance between rows and along rows
  • Ways to reduce the cost of trees for higher density plantings
  • Methods to reduce the cost of young tree training
  • Minimal pruning.

The project will establish a national network of demonstration trial sites that will engage collaborating growers and have a local emphasis. These are located in South Australia (Paringa, Teal Flat), Victoria (Lindsay Point, Robinvale) and NSW (Darlington Point, Hillston).

Results will be disseminated at almond industry extension events (including industry field walks through intensive and netted orchards) and featured in industry publications such as Almond Bytes and In a Nutshell.

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