- Pollination and fertiliser planning is contracted out. Remainder of work is completed by owners.
- A weather station in on-orchard with rainfall, temperature and wind used to inform orchard practices.
- Tree spaced 8.5m X 8.5m
- Managed as individual trees
- Max height of trees in 7.5m
- Light interception is the main priority when pruning followed by access for picking and spraying, structural tree balance, crop load management and removal of dead or diseased material.
- Trees are structurally pruned once a year in spring ideally but will wait until autumn if harvest forces delay.
- An average of 25% of the canopy is removed each year.
- Flower pruning is used on excessively flowering trees and fruit thinning may also be carried out if needed.
Soil and soil moisture management
- Orchard is predominately clay loam soil.
- Leaf litter, avocado pruning and shelter pruning are all used to mulch trees.
- Soil moisture is monitored using capacitance probe. Irrigation is triggered when the 0-15cm reading shows 30% moisture.
- The orchard is fully irrigated with ground based micro sprinklers mounted on 1.2m poles.
- At peak summer it is common to irrigate for 12 hours per irrigation event once a week using sprinklers with a 6m diameter that deliver 40l/hr (17mm per irrigation event)
- Sprinkler heads are chosen based on soil type, tree size and age, health and variety/cultivar.
- Pump pressure and flow characteristics along with control valves are checked annually with ongoing inspection of pipework on orchard.
- Pollinizer species include Bacon, Ettinger, Zutano, Fuerte and Edranol at a percentage of 1-5%
- Hives are brought onto the orchard at 5-10% flowering at a rate of 3-4 hives per hectare. Hives are located centrally in orchard to capture sun.
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.
- Both ground and foliar application of fertiliser is used.
- Boron fertilisers are applied as ground and foliar application when deficient.
- Calcium fertiliser is applied every year as a ground application.
- 8 solid fertiliser applications and 6 foliar applications are generally made a year.
Tree health management
- Only sick trees are injected but every tree has foliar application of phosphonate in autumn. No root testing of phosphonate levels is carried out.
- No frost protection is in place in the orchard.