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.

Topics:

Results and Observations

Peach and Nectarine experiments 3 - 6: effects of low, medium & high crop load treatments on Fruit Weight and Brix

Experiments 3 - 6

2017 Crop Load Management Results

Peaches, Nectarines and Apricots

Dr Mark O'Connell discusses the results from the crop load management experiments (7min, 18 sec)

Video discussion

Includes a video transcript.

Plums

Plum experiments 9 - 10*: Effect of crop load management and canopy architecture on yield and fruit quality of late-season plum 'Angeleno’

Objective: to identify crop load management practices, under Tatura trellis and vase training systems, to enable ‘Angeleno’ plum to maximise uniformity in fruit quality attributes.

Scientific Poster. *Result presented at the 30th International Horticultural Congress (August 2018 - Istanbul Turkey)

Introduction and experiment design

2015/16 Investigations in the Stonefruit Field Laboratory for Experiments 3 - 10

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 cropload level is minimally thinned fruit treatment to maximize competition between the fruit and available assimilate.
  • medium fruiting level is a moderately thin fruit treatment to minimize competition between fruit and available assimilate, and
  • low cropload level is heavily thinned fruit to eliminate competition between fruit and available assimilate.

Introduction - Peach cv. August Flame on Vertical Leader tree training

Experiment 3

Introduction: Peach cv. August Flame on Tatura trellis tree training

Experiment 4

Introduction: Nectarine cv. Autumn Bright on Tatura Trellis tree training

Experiment 5

Introduction: Nectarine cv. Autumn Bright on Vertical Leader tree training

Experiment 6

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

Exp.FruitRoostockTreatmentTrainingDensityDate
planted
3Peach cv. August FlameNemaguardCrop Load (high, medium, low)Vertical Leader2222 trees/ha2013
4Peach cv. August FlameNemaguardCrop Load (high, medium, low)Tatura Trellis2222 trees/ha2013
5Nectarine cv. Autumn BrightNemaguardCrop Load (high, medium, low)Tatura Trellis2222 trees/ha2013
6Nectarine cv. Autumn BrightNemaguardCrop Load (high, medium, low)Vertical Leader2222 trees/ha2013
7Apricot cv. Golden MayMyrobalan H29CCrop Load (high, medium, low)Tatura Trellis2222 trees/ha2014
8Apricot cv. Golden MayMyrobalan H29CCrop Load (high, medium, low)Vase2222 trees/ha2014
9Plum cv. AngelenoMyrobalan H29CCrop Load (high, medium, low)Tatura Trellis2222 trees/ha2014
10Plum cv. AngelenoMyrobalan H29CCrop Load (high, medium, low)Vase2222 trees/ha2014

Virtual Orchard Tours

360 degree photos of tree structures in the stonefruit research orchard.

November 2018

Fruit development on tree structures in the canopy-cropload experiments.

1. Peach canopy cropload experiments: Vertical leader versus Tatura trellis

2. Nectarine canopy cropload experiments: Vertical leader versus Tatura trellis

September 2018

Flowering on tree structures in the canopy-cropload experiments.

1. Peach canopy cropload experiments: Vertical leader versus Tatura trellis

2. Nectarine canopy cropload experiments: Vertical leader versus Tatura trellis

3. Apricot canopy cropload experiments: Vase versus Tatura trellis

4. Plum canopy cropload experiments: Vase versus Tatura trellis

July 2018

A look at tree structures in the canopy-cropload experiments.

1. Peach canopy cropload experiments: Vertical leader versus Tatura trellis

2. Nectarine canopy cropload experiments: Vertical leader versus Tatura trellis

3. Apricot canopy cropload experiments: Vase versus Tatura trellis

4. Plum canopy cropload experiments: Vase versus Tatura trellis

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

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

Crop load and fruit position

This study looks at the influence of crop load and fruit position on size and soluble solids concentration.

The effects of canopy architecture and crop load on non-structural carbohydrate in young stone fruit trees

Understanding the effects of canopy architecture and crop load on non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) in stonefruit trees is fundamental to boost early bearing and ensure consistent fruit size and quality.

This research (SF12003 Increased stone fruit profitability by consistently meeting market expectations) was funded by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources with co-investment from Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the Summerfruit levy and funds from the Australian Government.