To target high quality fruit, strategic cropload management practices are currently being investigated in designed field experiments at Agriculture Victoria, Tatura, in the stonefruit experimental field laboratory.
Manipulating fruit number per tree offers the ability to regulate available carbohydrates (assimilates), to maximize fruit size and fruit quality.
Cropload fruiting level treatment treatments being investigated are, high, medium and low cropload targets:
- high treatment is minimally thinned fruit to levels to maximize competition between the fruit and available assimilate.
- medium fruiting level is a moderately thin fruit to minimize competition between fruit and available assimilate, and
- low thinning level treatment is heavily thinned fruit to eliminate competition between fruit and available assimilate.
2015/16 Investigations in the Stonefruit Field Laboratory for Experiments 3 - 10
Introduction - Peach cv. August Flame on Vertical Leader tree training
Introduction: Peach cv. August Flame on Tatura trellis tree training
Introduction: Nectarine cv. Autumn Bright on Tatura Trellis tree training
Introduction: Nectarine cv. Autumn Bright on Vertical Leader tree training
Introduction: Apricot cv. Golden May on Vase and Tatura trellis tree training
Experiments 7 & 8
Introduction: Plum cv. Angeleno May on Vase and Tatura trellis tree training
Experiment 9 & 10
Table 1 Canopy crop-load experiments
|3||Peach cv. August Flame||Nemaguard||Crop Load (high, medium, low)||Vertical Leader||2222 trees/ha||2013|
|4||Peach cv. August Flame||Nemaguard||Crop Load (high, medium, low)||Tatura Trellis||2222 trees/ha||2013|
|5||Nectarine cv. Autumn Bright||Nemaguard||Crop Load (high, medium, low)||Tatura Trellis||2222 trees/ha||2013|
|6||Nectarine cv. Autumn Bright||Nemaguard||Crop Load (high, medium, low)||Vertical Leader||2222 trees/ha||2013|
|7||Apricot cv. Golden May||Myrobalan H29C||Crop Load (high, medium, low)||Tatura Trellis||2222 trees/ha||2014|
|8||Apricot cv. Golden May||Myrobalan H29C||Crop Load (high, medium, low)||Vase||2222 trees/ha||2014|
|9||Plum cv. Angeleno||Myrobalan H29C||Crop Load (high, medium, low)||Tatura Trellis||2222 trees/ha||2014|
|10||Plum cv. Angeleno||Myrobalan H29C||Crop Load (high, medium, low)||Vase||2222 trees/ha||2014|
Virtual Orchard Tour - A look at tree structures in the canopy-cropload experiments.
360 degree photos of tree structures in the stonefruit research orchard.
Warning: this software uses a lot of data and may take time to load each panoramic (360 degree) view of the orchard.
*Tour software works best in Chrome or Internet Explorer 11
How to navigate: DESKTOP Computer
To move the picture for a 360 degree view: Use mouse + hold left button
To zoom in and out: use scroll wheel on mouse
To move to the next picture: Select panos (round circle on screen)
Select menu in top right corner for more options.
- Full screen
- Auto rotation on/off
- Auto follow on/off
Results and Observations
Experiments 3 - 6 effects of low, medium & high crop load treatments on Fruit Weight and Brix
2017 Crop Load Management Results
Video discussion Dr Mark O'Connell discusses the results from the crop load management experiments (7min, 18 sec)
Time series videos
Every few weeks photos were taken of each experiment, and produced into a video to show the resulting growth of tree canopies and fruit development.
Time series videos experiments 3 to 8
Crop load and fruit position influence variability in nectarine quality
This study looks at the influence of crop load and fruit position on size and soluble solids concentration.