Most positive influence on orchard performance
- Big trees fill space meaning all available land occupied with canopy.
- Do the basics good enough.
Most negative influence on orchard performance
- Tree height means no fruit below 3m but not sure impacts too much on orchard profitability.
- Orchard is managed efficiently as possible rather than focus on getting maximum yield. All needed management actions are carried out in a timely manner such as spraying and fertiliser application but where efficiencies can be made they will be. E.g. If fertiliser is spread using a spreader not by hand, if half tonne bag is just over or under recommendation, only the half tonne bag will be applied. Fertiliser application has been reduced slightly this season to bring inputs under Avoco cap of 160kg Nitrogen/hectare.
- Tree spaced 10m X 10m
- Managed almost as a single canopy as big high canopy with little grass under canopy
- Max height of trees is 12m
- Trees are structurally pruned once a year with less larger cuts favoured over more smaller cuts autumn/winter. Limbs are selectively removed to generate productive/replacement wood and maintain light onto these limbs. About 30% of the canopy is removed each year.
- Flower pruning and crop load management is not carried out on the orchard.
Soil and soil moisture management
- Orchard is predominately sandy loam.
- Leaf litter, avocado pruning and shelter pruning are all used to mulch trees but prunings are mulched in the rows and not specifically applied back under trees.
- Tensiometers are located in two block but historically haven’t been used to inform irrigation.
- 6-8 polleniser trees on orchard of unknown variety.
- Honey bee and bumble bee hives are brought onto the orchard at about 5-10% flowering at a rate of 8-10 hives per hectare. Hives are placed equally in the blocks.
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.
- Allf fertiliser is applied as ground application by spreader except one foliar boron applied in spring with a miticide.
- Large Gum trees all the way around property boundary. Internal shelters come into the block about a third of the way only and run in a North-South orientation.
Tree health management
- Trees are injected every year in autumn. Root testing of phosphonate levels is not carried out.
- No frost protection system is used in the orchard.