First harvest after 20 year breeding programme

AU: Kalei - new scab resistant apple

A new apple variety, developed in Queensland, is being released. It's said to be very sweet and will stay fresher for longer periods of time. Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) John McVeigh welcomed Apple and Pear Australia Ltd. on board as a commercial partner to bring the Kalei (Pronounced: Kay-lee), which is Hawaiian for loveable, apple to market.

McVeigh has been to DAFF's Applethorpe Research Station to inspect the first harvest of Kalei.

The apple variety came about after a 20 year long breeding program by the Queensland Government, supported by both Apple and Pear Australia Ltd and Horticulture Australia Ltd.

The apple is being vaunted for its resistance to apple scab.

"The Kalei is a super apple which can withstand apple scab in the orchard and what growers have been crying out for," said McVeigh.

Apple scab has lost Australian grower over $10 million per year in chemical treatments and reduced production levels.

"When it becomes available to the public, consumers will be able to put it in a fruit bowl at home and it will retain its firmness, texture and crispness for up to three weeks," Minister McVeigh continued.

The apples is also said to deliver high yield quantity and the participation of Apple and Pear Australia in the marketing campaign will see the fruit available in supermarkets all over the country.

Apple and Pear Australia director, Ugo Tomasel, said, "It tastes great and its scab and black spot resistant qualities means that growers won’t need to use fungicide which is not only good for consumers and the environment but it’s great for grower’s hip pockets!" he said.

"The trees have shown great potential with fruit of first grade quality, great size and very high pack-outs more than achievable. Its precocity and ability to produce high early yields of top quality fruit will make Kalei a real market leader," Mr Tomasel concluded.

Source: www.mysunshinecoast.com.au

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