Australian sweet persimmon industry development project – phase 4 (PR13007)
What was it all about?
Running from 2014 to 2017, this project was tasked with developing new technologies and management strategies for the industry. As part of the project, researchers carried out investigations into…
- Developing effective practices for the management of mealybug.
- Researchers looked into the effectiveness of systemic insecticides clothianidin and sulfoxaflor.
- They noted that systemic insecticides are more compatible with integrated pest management programs (where growers are using predators to assist in the control of mealybug), and when used at the correct time and concentration can significantly reduce mealybug populations at harvest.
- For monitoring mealybug, the researchers recommend checking fruit calyx in early December.
- Developing effective practices for the management of clearwing moth, with researchers finding that mating-disruption pheromones significantly reduced damage in crops in south east Queensland.
- Looking at improved cool-storage practices to extend the storage life of persimmons, to enable the industry to extend the supply season and moderate supply fluctuations in the market. The project found that treatment with SmartFresh (1-MCP) prior to cold storage at 0oC can increase the storage life of persimmons. The team found that fruit could be stored for up to eight weeks, making overseas export feasible.
- Evaluating rootstocks, with research suggesting persimmon orchard productivity could be improved by using vegetatively propagated rootstocks rather than seedling rootstocks, though long-term trials would be required to confirm.
- Evaluating new persimmon varieties developed overseas. No varieties have yet been found to be commercially suitable to Australia, but the Rojo Brillante variety shows promise, performing well in trials at Nambour, with results pending from trials elsewhere.
- Looking at removing astringency, where it was found that treating varieties with carbon dioxide at 95 per cent for 24 hours can remove astringency while retaining acceptable flesh texture, though larger scale trials are needed to establish an official protocol for industry.
This investment also delivered an updated Persimmon Postharvest Manual and the revised Integrated Pest and Disease Manual for Persimmon.
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation
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