- Pollination, pruning, pest monitoring, spraying and fertiliser planning is contracted out. Remainder of work is completed by owners.
- Tree spaced 10m X 10m
- Managed in rows
- Max height of trees is 9m
- Light interception is the priority when pruning followed by structural tree balance, increasing access for picking and spraying, management of crop load and removal of dead or diseased material.
- Trees are structurally pruned once a year in autumn with about 20% of the canopy removed each year.
- Flower pruning is also carried out once a year on trees that need it with a single follow up fruit removal also if trees are over cropping.
Soil and soil moisture management
- Orchard is predominately sandy loam.
- Leaf litter, avocado pruning and shelter pruning are all used to mulch trees.
- Soil moisture is not monitored on the orchard.
- The orchard is 90% irrigated with in-canopy micro sprinklers used for irrigation.
- At peak summer it is common to irrigate for 12 hours per irrigation event once a week using sprinklers with an 8m diameter that deliver 60l/hr (14mm per irrigation event)
- Sprinkler heads are the same on all trees.
- Pump pressure and flow characteristics are checked twice a year (Prior to main frost risk period and prior to main irrigation period) with ongoing inspection of pipework on orchard.
- Pollinizer species include Bacon, Zutano and Fuerte at a percentage of 7-10%
- Honeybee hives are brought onto the orchard before flowering at a rate of 3-4 hives per hectare. Hives are located evenly through block.
Soil and fertiliser application
- Soil and leaf tests are carried out once a year in March.
- A consultant provides a fertiliser plan based on test results and crop loading.
- The majority of fertiliser is applied by ground application but foliar application is also used.
- Boron fertilisers are applied as ground application and foliar every year.
- Calcium fertiliser is applied when deficient.
- Fertiliser in some form is applied 12 times a year.
Tree health management
- Trees are injected with phosphonate once a year in autumn. No root testing is conducted to verify application has been successful.
- No frost protection is in place in the orchard.