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.
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
Video: stonefruit cropload experiment on 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
2017 Crop Load Management Results
Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots and Plums
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
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
Experiments 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|
360 degree photos of tree structures in the stonefruit research orchard.
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
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
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.