A current Hort Innovation productivity project intends to benefit Australia’s almond, avocado, citrus, macadamia and mango crops. The five-year $28 million National Tree Crop Intensification in Horticulture Program should give growers the tools needed to produce more fruit and nuts per hectare. The program will develop systems to increase the intensity of orchards while improving production, quality and profitability outcomes for growers.
The five initial tree crops identified are regarded by Hort Innovation as important to Australian horticulture and have strong potential for improved productivity through crop intensification.
Hort Innovation research and development manager Dr Adrian Hunt said the program will investigate scion rootstock combinations, orchard design, vigour and canopy management strategies for optimal light interception. "Orchard automation is also a key industry goal and the program will provide insights from a tree physiology perspective to facilitate this transformation," Hunt told queenslandcountrylife.com.au.
The program involves an international collaboration of leading research providers from Australia, New Zealand, USA and Spain - creating a transformational international research program.