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National tree crop intensification program (AS18000) – Avocado

Publication date: Monday, May 3, 2021

What's it all about?

This investment is part of a collaborative R&D program of tree crop-specific projects established to deliver step-change orchard system intensification knowledge, understanding and technical advancements to the avocado industry.

The project is delivering new knowledge for avocado growers that supports the need to change traditional growing systems to increase yields and orchard profits. The project will deliver:

  • Improved understanding of factors underlying productivity
  • Industry awareness of management systems, scion and rootstock selections and their suitability for intensive orchard systems
  • Understanding of canopy management and light relations which may be applicable in conventional orchards
  • Understanding of establishment costs and relative economic performance of intensive production systems

The research involves:

  • Continuation of previous trials investigating rootstock, growth regulator soil drenching and two-dimensional versus three-dimensional trellis systems.
  • Trial and demonstration to investigate two new tree shapes, growth vigour (PRG and tree height limits), nutrition and pruning timing strategies.
  • Trial and demonstration of strategies to improve crop load and a better understanding of the allocation of resources needed.
  • Improved understanding of root/canopy relationships.
  • Trial and demonstration of high-density plantings under netting in Western Australia including monitoring of environmental conditions, light interception, phenology, pollination, pest pressure, productivity and quality.
  • Modelled economic performance of intensive production systems, compared, wherever possible, with current industry production systems and practices.

By the conclusion of the project, the project team will be able to provide the avocado industry with recommendations on:

  • Rootstock and scion options supporting intensification
  • Plant density, tree structure, training and pruning for intensive systems.

Results will be disseminated at avocado industry extension events (including industry field walks through intensive and netted orchards) and featured in industry publications such as the Talking Avocados magazine and Guacamole e-newsletter.