Innovative new production systems for low-chill stonefruit in Australia and south-east Asia: A review
Nissen, RJ and George, AP and Waite, G and Lloyd, A and Hamacek, E, Innovative new production systems for low-chill stonefruit in Australia and south-east Asia: A review, Acta Horticulturae, 694 pp. 247-251. ISSN 0567-7572 (2005) [Refereed Article]
Fruit size and quality are major problems in early-season stonefruit varieties grown in Australia and South-East Asia. In Australia, Thailand and Vietnam new training and trellising systems are being developed to improve yield and fruit quality. Australian trials found that new training systems, such as the Open Tatura system are more productive compared with standard vase-trained trees. We established new crop-loading indices for low-chill stonefruit to provide a guide for optimal fruit thinning based on fruit number per canopy surface and butt cross sectional area. Best management practices were developed for low-chill stonefruit cultivation using growth retardants, optimising leaf nitrogen concentrations and controlling rates and timing of irrigation. Regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) was improved fruit sugar concentrations by restricting water application during stage II of fruit growth. New pest and disease control measures are also being developed using a new generation of fruit fly baits. Soft insecticides such as (Spinosad) are used at significantly lower concentrations and have lower mammalian toxicity than the organophosphates currently registered in Australia. In addition, fruit fly exclusion netting effectively eliminated fruit fly and many other insect pests from the orchard with no increase in diseases. This netting system increased sugar concentrations of peach and nectarine by as much as 30%. Economic analyses showed that the break-even point can be reduced from 12 to 6 years Open Tatura trellising and exclusion netting.
orchard design, crop loading, irrigation, fruit fly