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AU apple growers seek new varieties that survive milder winters

Warmer winters could force apple and pear growers in some regions of Australia to plant varieties that are less dependent on the chill factor needed to promote regrowth.

According to research by Queensland's Department of Agriculture, by 2030 all apple and pear growing regions are projected to have milder winters and reduced winter chill due to climate change.

Apple and pear trees need winter chill to break dormancy and promote healthy flowering in spring.

Horticulturalist Dr Heidi Parkes has worked with a team of researchers to develop a winter chill website to provide growers access to data and help their seasonal and long-term crop management.

"If you look at the historical data, in some locations you can see a trend for reducing winter chill over the last 50 or so years," she said.

"But if you project forward to 2030 and 2050, all growing regions of Australia are projected to have milder winters and reduced winter chill."

Read more at abc.net.au

Publication date: 8/30/2017


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