Developing smarter and sustainable pear orchards to maximise fruit quality, yield and labour efficiency (AP19005)
What's it all about?
This investment is providing the pear industry with new technology and advanced management systems to maximise fruit quality, yield and labour efficiency under increasing climate variability. The goal of the project is to increase profitability of pear orchards by providing tools that allow growers to consistently produce better quality produce for domestic consumption and export markets.
Research trials are being undertaken by the project team in the experimental pear orchard at Agriculture Victoria’s Tatura SmartFarm and in commercial orchards in the Goulburn Valley. There is a focus on:
- Demonstrating appropriate tree training methods, planting density and rootstocks for new pear cultivars
- Investigating crop load regulation to minimise biennial bearing and maximise fruit quality and yield
- Determining the long-term effects of planting systems, rootstocks and training systems on yield, fruit quality, nutrition, soil and pests/diseases
- Delivering a better understanding of colour expression in bi-coloured pears and sun protection to reduce the impact of extreme heat events on colour
- Practical use of sensing technologies to monitor fruit development that will enable growers to confidently adjust management to grow fruit to market specification.
This project is part of the PIPS3 program for the apple and pear industry (the third iteration of the Productivity, Irrigation, Pests and Soils program). The other investments that make up this scope of work are:
- Strengthening cultural and biological management of pests and diseases in apple and pear orchards (AP19002)
- Advancing sustainable and technology driven apple orchard production systems (AP19003)
- Improved Australian apple and pear orchard soil health and plant nutrition (AP19006)
- Independent program coordination for apple and pear productivity, irrigation, pests and soils program (PIPS3) (AP19007)
The work done through this project, and the PIPS3 program, will be communicated to industry extensively through the levy-funded National apple and pear industry communications program (AP18000) and Future Orchards program Delivery of apple and pear Future Orchards extension program (AP15005). You can sign up to receive industry communications at www.apal.org.au.
Initial planning of the project delivery is underway and an article introducing the project and its key objectives for industry has been published in the Australian Fruitgrower magazine and on the APAL website online.
Two videos have been produced with AP19007, the first, PIPS 3: Developing smarter and sustainable pear orchards, which introduces AP19005 and the second which presents a new mobile sensing technology for apples and pears, Green Atlas Cartographer™.
Watch videos PIPS 3: Developing smarter and sustainable pear orchards which gives an introduction to project AP19005 and Green Atlas Cartographer™ which presents a new mobile sensing technology for apples and pears.
This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund