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New research claims to boost avocado yields by 50%
Avocado crops could return up to 50 percent more for growers if techniques from global, on-farm research in Israel are adopted.
That was the message delivered to excited growers in meetings with Israeli expert Dr Avner Silber at Mareeba, Childers and Kilcoy in Queensland, as well as at Renmark in South Australia, coordinated recently by specialty fertiliser supplier, Haifa Australia, in conjunction with irrigation specialist, Netafim.
Dr Silber, who works for the Avocado Board of Israel and was a Professor at the renowned Volcani Institute, which has a long history of research, conducted farmer trials over more than four years, determining fertigation and irrigation demands throughout the avocado crop production cycle for maximising yields and quality.
Research data, together with fertigation and irrigation techniques used in the trials, show the potential to increase grower avocado yields from 10-15 tonnes per hectare up to 30t/ha.
Dr Silber said avocado had a particularly high energy component, which meant it had some of the highest demand for nutrition among tree crops, although demand could also differ from field to field and year to year.
The trials focused on matching fertigation and irrigation applications to the physiology of avocado trees and the time of year. This ensured that the trees got the appropriate nutrients at the right time of year, boosting yields.
Meanwhile, with significant new investment occurring in the avocado industry, Haifa Australia Managing Director Trevor Dennis said Dr Silber’s research could offer the opportunity to better direct future investments.
“With any new investment, people should think about what they are exactly doing and to do it properly – not just the way they may have done it before,’’ Mr Dennis said.
Publication date: 10/2/2017
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