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

August 2019

Plum and Apricot videos, experiments 7-10: Dr Mark O'Connell discusses observations with the plum and apricot trials.

Video: stonefruit cropload experiments on Plum Angeleno - Tatura trellis versus vase
Dr Mark O'Connell, from Agriculture Victoria, discusses stonefruit cropload experiments on Plum Angeleno - Tatura trellis versus vase
Video: stonefruit cropload experiment on Apricot Golden May -  Tatura trellis versus vase
Dr Mark O'Connell, from Agriculture Victoria, discusses the stonefruit cropload experiment, Apricot Golden May - Tatura trellis versus vase

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, Apricots and Plums

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 to research - see videos:

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

Experiments 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

Virtual Tours

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

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; SF17006 Summerfruit Orchard Phase 2) was funded by the Agriculture Victoria with co-investment from Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the Summerfruit levy and funds from the Australian Government.