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Completed project

Avocado industry capacity building – Western Australia (AV17006)

Key research provider: The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia
Publication date: Tuesday, June 11, 2024

What was it all about?

This program built research capacity within the Western Australian avocado industry to achieve higher and more consistent production, allowing the local industry to grow and take advantage of domestic and international markets.


The Western Australian avocado industry faces unique challenges, including irregular bearing, and other post-harvest and production challenges whose representation in other Australian studies has not yet yielded satisfactory WA-specific practices.


This project was established in 2018 to build research capabilities in WA with the primary aim of performing fundamental production research into the problem of irregular bearing.

Over the five and half years in which the project ran, the DPIRD team produced extension outputs (articles and posters), ran regular extension events, and participated in multiple fundamental research projects led by other agencies to bring essential research work into WA. The DPIRD team also ran their own research into the inconsistent bearing typical of Hass avocado and evaluated the potential of early fruit thinning as a management approach for inducing more consistent bearing.

The research team successfully ran a series of adoptable discrete experiments including the possibility of harvesting wet fruit, estimation of incidence of fungal inoculum before harvest, an investigation of carbohydrate reserve and distribution after a few years of thinning treatments and improving the usage of the Rubens for the non-destructive determination of fruit dry matter prior to harvest. 


This project has provided the regional avocado industry with a specific local capability to reach a higher or more consistent yield potential and profitability. Achieving more consistent production in the face of irregular or alternate bearing in this project has been done though a trial investigating the use of crop load management. Crop load management was envisaged in the trial as a thinning treatment at fruit set to avoid excess fruit and induce better resource allocation in avocado trees from year to year.

In addition to the trial research the project has worked to deliver increased capacity by:

  • Communicating to growers all the current research that has been done with regards to best practice avocado production.
  • Supporting other avocado research that aims to achieve productivity gains, fruit quality improvements, and better access to future and current export markets.

By achieving a higher and more consistent production, the local industry can grow and take advantage of export opportunities and continue to supply the strong domestic avocado market.

Related levy funds

This project was a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Avocado Fund