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Maximised yields with minimised risk:

An integrated solution for a high-value cherry crop

When Simon Bishell, from Caythorpe Family Estate in Marlborough, set out to convert his central-leader grown cherries to the UFO growing style, he needed a complete solution to protect the high-value crop from birds and rain.

Hortivate partners with Valente in Italy, bringing their solutions to New Zealand. Hortivate worked closely with Simon from the beginning to ensure a fit-for-purpose solution was created. "Importance is put on the first conversations with our clients. It is very important that our solution meets all of our clients requirements," explains Regan French, Director at Hortivate.

A key benefit of the Hortivate structure was having an integrated system that supported the requirements of a trellis structure, bird netting and rain cover, without having to build separate structures to create the required layers of protection.

Simon commented "For what we are doing, which is providing a trellis, bird netting and rain cover for cherries, the structure was very versatile and provided an all-in-one solution".

This structure supported Caythorpe's new UFO style growing style. The structure has future-proofed Caythorpes' orchard for industry advancements including robotics and automation. The structure design also allowed for high density planting, while still having planar fruiting walls to allow for maximum light penetration.

With the first harvest completed this year, and no problems with birds, the next step is to install automated retractable rain cover. This will be installed to prevent the dreaded splitting of fruit, caused by rain.

The project has been a success and has gathered a lot of interest from the industry.

Hortivate are the pioneers of concrete orchard structures in New Zealand, partnering with Valente in Italy, bringing their world-renowned concrete orchard structures to New Zealand growers.

For more information:
Dustin French
Hortivate LTD
Tel: +64 21 240 8753
[email protected]