- Pollination, pruning, fertiliser planning and spraying are contracted out. Remainder of work is completed by owners.
- Tree spaced 12m X 12m with maximum height of 12m.
- Managed as individuals
- Max height of trees is 8m. Missed a year of pruning due to a number of reasons and some water shoots got a bit out of control so now bringing those back down.
- Structural tree balance is the main priority when pruning followed by increasing access for picking and spraying, light interception, management of crop load and removal of dead or diseased material.
- Trees are structurally pruned once a year with larger cuts made in autumn depending on crop remaining on trees. About 25% of the canopy is removed each year.
- Flower pruning or fruit removal is not carried out.
Soil and soil moisture management
- Orchard is predominately sandy loam.
- Leaf mulch is the dominant ground cover under trees with some avocado pruning making up the mulch.
- Soil moisture is monitored on the orchard using tensiometers but it is not used to inform when irrigation is used.
- The orchard is 100% irrigated with in-canopy sprinklers with a 4m throw that deliver an average volume of 41L/hr.
- A typical irrigation event would be for 3 hours twice a week.
- Sprinkler heads that distribute different volumes over different area are chosen based on tree size and age.
- The condition of pipe work and control valves has been checked in the last year for proper function. Sprinklers heads are monitored regularly.
- Pollinizer varieties Ettinger and Fuerte are present in the orchard and make up between 1-5% if trees.
- Honey bee hives are brought onto the orchard at 1-5% flowering at a rate of about 8-10 honey bee hives per hectare. Hives are located in one spot in the orchard that is hottest and most sheltered.
Soil and fertiliser application
- Soil and leaf tests are carried out once a year in April.
- A consultant provides a fertiliser plan based on test results and crop loading.
- Ground application of hard fertiliser is the most common application method but foliar applications are used as well.
- Fertiliser is generally applied 8 times a year.
- Boron is applied to the ground and as a foliar every year and calcium is applied to the ground every year.
- Trees make up all the shelters and are about 8m high on most boundaries. Some boundaries with kiwifruit don’t have shelter.
Tree health management
- Trees have injected with phosphonate once a year.
- No frost protection system is used in the orchard.