Technical development and extension for the Australian prune industry (DP11001)
What was it all about?
This project supported the appointment of a part-time industry development officer for the Australian prune industry during 2014. The officer was responsible for providing information to growers that would improve quality, productivity and returns to growers to ensure the future of the industry.
Industry development began by engaging with growers in Young, Griffith and South Australia to learn about their information needs and to develop a network.
The officer developed an itinerary for a study tour to California to experience industry practices there, which ten people took up.
Throughout the year, the officer provided growers with relevant information by email, text message, industry newsletters and articles in the industry magazine, The Vine.
- Information on the Californian study tour
- The effects of modifying drying tunnels
- Seasonal updates such as postharvest care of prune trees
- Updates on variety trials
- Potential for new export markets opening.
Three field walks and visits to farms were organised, including guest speakers to provide growers with current expertise, and attendance at these events was markedly higher than previous events.
As a result of the project, the general level of grower participation and confidence in the industry improved significantly. Feedback was positive and will be used to inform future projects.
This project was a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Prune Fund