Australian Pome Fruit Improvement Program Ltd (APFIP) (AP00026)
This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.
What was it all about?
The productivity of Australian apple orchards had been reduced to a large degree through the presence of viruses. This had and is continuing to impact negatively on orchard profitability. In his address to the Australian Horticultural Propagation Workshop, Gosford, May 1990 the late Graham Gregory made the following statement.
“...there is clear recognition that the selection and quality of planting material is the most important single factor in determining the profitability of an horticultural enterprise. It is important therefore that the correction of any problems that prevail in this area should receive top priority.”
Certifications systems were standard in many growing regions of the world including North America, Europe and New Zealand.
APFIP developed a pome fruit certification system for Australia under a certification trademark. The trademark signified that the rootstocks and nursery trees were tested negative for viruses, pomologically true to type and meet minimum rootstock and nursery tree requirements.
Certification coupled with high quality nursery trees had the potential to deliver increased and sustained production from early in the life of the new orchard. To assist growers in understanding the physical requirements of high quality nursery trees, APFIP had developed and was promoting a nursery tree specification and tree types description.
APFIP had developed and operates an independent, secure and efficient new variety evaluation system. A glossy photo in a nursery catalogue and anecdotal evidence was no longer enough information for growers when making their planting decisions. New variety performance data from APFIP’s 14 sites around the country became available.
AQIS completed a review of the pome fruit budwood importation protocols in February 2002 following on from a 1998 industry sponsored post entry quarantine project. Through the implementation of active testing for a number of diseases the time required for post entry quarantine has been reduced from 3 to 4 years to 15 to 18 months. Time in quarantine was considered one of the reasons why people might try to circumvent it and import illegally with the resultant risk from the introduction of exotic pests and diseases
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This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the voluntary financial support of Apfip and the nashi industry.
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