Making good variety investment decisions: a tree fruit variety evaluation program for Australia (MT10051)
What was it all about?
This substantial project involved planting a number of crops in four key production regions across Australia to evaluate the characteristics of a number of varieties. It ran from 2010 to 2014.
The project evaluated nearly 1000 new summerfruit and cherry varieties including interspecific varieties – crosses between apricots and plums – that take on some of the characteristics of both parents. These interspecific varieties are fruits with new appearances, flavours and textures that, in general, are very good to eat.
In addition, peach (yellow fleshed and white fleshed), nectarine (yellow fleshed and white fleshed), cherry, apricot and plum varieties were evaluated.
The study comprised two evaluation phases plus standard variety measures for comparison:
- Phase 1 identified and culled varieties with characteristics that would make the variety non‐ commercial in Australia such as small size, a tendency to fruit cracking or russet
- Phase 2 evaluation of fruit characteristics was carried out in the main production regions by trained evaluators
- Standard varieties were included at all sites to capture time of ripening and other differences between regions.
The systematic evaluation produced a large amount of data on varieties that growers can use to make informed decisions prior to planting in a particular growing area. All findings were made available to growers on the Graham’s FacTree website.
This was a multi-industry strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Cherry and Summerfruit Funds
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation
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