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Completed project

Achieving more consistent yields of quality fruit in the Australian avocado industry (AV14000)

Key research provider: Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Publication date: Thursday, April 26, 2018

What was it all about?

With irregular bearing identified as a key issue in the Australian avocado industry, this three-year project was established in 2015 to provide growers with the knowledge required to implement practices for more consistent high yields of good-quality avocados from year to year. It had a strong focus on delivering workshops and resources to growers.

The project ran 42 workshops across eight Australian growing regions, attended by more than 2600 growers. More than 100 participants were surveyed after the workshops and…

  • 80 per cent of growers surveyed said they had made changes to their businesses as a result of the events

  • More than 50 per cent reported that they had reduced the amount of irregular and alternate bearing on their orchards as a result of the project

  • 91 per cent also said they now have a better understanding of the flowering and fruit-set process.

Participants were also asked to estimate the financial benefit of the project to their business. For the 100 respondents who engaged with this question, the value reached $7.1 million.

All resources and learnings from these workshops remain available in the industry’s Best Practice Resource (BPR) at www.avocado.org.au/best-practice-resource.

As well as workshops, the project delivered…

  • Avo Alert emails – monthly reminders sent to all growers, specific to each major production region, providing prompts about the orchard activities that should be considered in that particular month and the month ahead.

  • Video resources, also available from the BPR.

  • A review of orchard nutrition practices, conducted with growers across the country and resulting in an update of the industry’s plant nutrition guidelines, available from the BPR.

  • Content for other channels, such as regular articles for the levy-funded Talking Avocados.

There was a research component to the project too. Members of the project team and 28 growers participated in the collection of observations on flowering and fruit set – mainly during the 2015 and 2016 flowering seasons – on 28 orchards across the country, while data loggers were used at these sites to record temperature and humidity.

The data was analysed and the results presented to growers at the workshops and via the BPR, to educate about this complex but critical stage of fruit production and help in the implementation of practices to improve fruit set and retention.

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Details

ISBN:
978-0-7341-4363-1

Funding statement:
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation

Copyright:
Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2018. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).