The 3 ha research orchard, developed in 2013-2015, contains high density plantings, multiple rootstocks and cultivars, alternative canopy architectures and advanced irrigation and fertigation technologies to investigate future production systems to deliver the best quality fruit to meet market expectations.


The trials for the stonefruit future production systems were determined an industry consultative committee: Stonefruit Field Laboratory Advisory Committee

Field Experiments

Field Experiments

SUMMARY Summary of field experiments & demonstration blocks

Stonefruit Field Laboratory - Second year of production Presentation by Dr Mark O'Connell at the 2017 Stonefruit Research Roadshow

Fruit attributes

  • Nectarine
  • Plum
  • Apricot
  • Peach

Fruit attributes of crop and cultivar types used in the stonefruit research orchard.

Orchard establishment

Orchard establishment for high quality fruit

Dr Mark O'Connell discusses how this high density orchard was established (3 min, 30 sec)

Procedures and methods to establish the stonefruit field laboratory.

Things to consider:

  • Cultivar
  • Canopy architecture
  • Row dimension
  • Row orientation
  • Tree density

Facilities and Infrastructure

  • Irrigation headworks
  • Research harvest facility at Tatura
Video: Irrigation headworks
Stonefruit Field Lab Irrigation headworks shed

Dr Mark O'Connell introduces the irrigation headworks shed for the Field Laboratory in Tatura, Victoria

Video: Research harvest facility at Tatura
Research Harvest Facility at Agriculture Victoria, Tatura

Dr Mark O'Connell discusses the new Harvest Facility at Tatura (Agriculture Victoria) with a commercial fruit grader equipped with sensors for scientific analysis. (November 2016)

Other resources: Carpophilus Beetle - mass trapping for Stonefruit

Google Earth: Orchard Location

Google Maps

This research (SF12003 Increased stone fruit profitability by consistently meeting market expectations; SF17006 Summerfruit Orchard Phase 2) was funded by Agriculture Victoria with co-investment from Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the Summerfruit levy and funds from the Australian Government.