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Ongoing project

Carbohydrate monitoring to predict yield and understanding fruit set (AV19006)

Key research provider: CSIRO

What’s it all about?

This project is examining the methods and tools needed to monitor carbohydrate status in avocado orchards, as a way of predicting yield and understanding fruit set. A recommendation will be made to industry on a viable pathway for the development of a method to rapidly assess avocado carbohydrate status at scale in the field.

To begin, a desktop review is examining the available technologies that could be used to evaluate avocado tree carbohydrate status, as well as how it may influence phenological and developmental phases in tree fruit crops.

This project will work in close collaboration with levy-funded project Maximising yield and reducing seasonal variation (AV16005), which has provided strong evidence that tree physiology, as reflected by the carbohydrate status, is a key driver for fruit drop. AV16005 is also conducting trials into whether carbohydrate status is linked to flowering and fruit set, providing an ideal opportunity to begin identifying a non-destructive system to evaluate the carbohydrate status of avocado trees.

Based on the results from the desktop review, an initial proof of concept of the most promising technology will be identified and tested. From this, a recommendation will be made to industry.

The project team continues to progress its work, aimed at recommending a pathway for the development of a non-destructive way to rapidly assess avocado carbohydrate status, at scale, in the field.

The initial step – which was to conduct a desktop study on tree carbohydrate status and productivity, plus a review of technologies for evaluating carbohydrates in plants – is now complete.

Ongoing activities include sourcing yield data from volunteer growers (under privacy protection) and additional existing research and weather data to test the use of photothermal quotient (PTQ) as a non-destructive surrogate for carbohydrate status.

The team also identified a non-destructive carbohydrate methodology for proof of concept. Further testing will be undertaken, with results to be used to recommend a non-destructive technology to predict yield for the avocado industry.

Related levy funds

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