- Pollination, pruning and fertiliser planning is contracted out. Remainder of work is completed by owners.
- Tree spaced 9m X 9m
- Trees are managed as individuals
- Max height of trees is 7m
- The priority when pruning is light interception followed by structural tree balance, access for pickers and spraying, removal of dead and diseased material and management of crop load.
- Structural pruning is carried out once a year in autumn (Late Feb – early Mar) and flower and fruit thinning is never carried out.
- About 25% of the canopy is removed each year with pruning.
Soil and soil moisture management
- Orchard is predominately clay loam with some clay areas that aren’t planted.
- Leaf litter and avocado pruning are used to mulch trees.
- Soil moisture is not monitored on the orchard. Irrigation decisions are made based on visual assessment of tree and recent and forecast weather.
- The orchard is 100% irrigated with ground based micro sprinklers.
- At peak summer it is common to irrigate for 6 hours per irrigation event twice a week using sprinklers with a 6m diameter that deliver 45l/hr (9.5mm per irrigation event)
- Sprinkler heads are varied based on tree size, age and health. Some trees have 2 sprinkler heads and sick trees get extra mulch and have sprinkler clamped off.
- Control valves have been checked in the last year and pipework is assessed on an ongoing basis including mainlines, sub-mains and laterals.
- Pollinizer species include Bacon, Zutano, Fuerte and Reed at a percentage of 1-5%
- Honey bee hives are brought onto the orchard at about 1-5% 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 April.
- 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 not applied.
- Fertiliser in some form is applied 19 times a year.
Tree health management
- Trees are injected once a year with phosphonate with no root testing conducted to verify root concentration.
- No frost protection is in place in the orchard.