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Ongoing project

Optimising apple production systems (PIPS 4 Profit) (AP22004)

Key research provider: University of Tasmania

What is it all about?

This project will provide a national approach to developing profitable growing systems for apple production across Australia. The key aim of this research is to develop and evaluate strategies and technologies for efficient and reliable apple crop load management.

Specifically, the research will address:

  • Profitable apple crop load management strategies and technologies for apple production within the Australian environment
  • Profitable spatial and temporal management strategies that maximise apple quality for apple consumers.
  • Provide data on the eco credentials of the apple industry production systems.
  • Increase labour use efficiency in Australian apple orchards.

Research will be conducted in each of Australia’s apple growing regions to deliver novel, innovative and profitable orchard renovation techniques, thinning strategies, and canopy manipulation to maximise apple fruit quality for consumers.

For each of these research areas, economic impact will be determined in the context of overall orchard profitability to provide industry with well-informed recommendations to improve labour and resource use efficiency across their farming businesses.

Using the Australian-grown Horticulture Sustainability Framework, this research will ensure activities are aligned to the goals and indicators so that they can contribute towards eco-credentialing in the apple industry underpinned by a detailed data set.

Growers will be directly involved through hosting trial sites for research and participating in eco-credential analysis linked closely to the other PIPS 4 Profit projects.

Additionally, a partnership has been established with an orchard business analyst to undertake an economic impact analysis of recommended orchard renovation, canopy and crop load management practices in the context of overall orchard profitability.

Related levy funds

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund