Established in October 2013, the netted apple demonstration at the Lyster’s Orchard near Manjimup is aimed at showing the value of netting to improve water use efficiency and productivity in high density orchard production systems.
The 1.2 hectare site has 0.5ha of permanent net constructed over an established Cripps Pink and Fuji orchard. Sections of black and white 16mm quad netting were installed, each covering 0.25ha. The remaining area contains two comparison blocks, a DAFWA-managed no netted area, and a grower practice no netted area as a control treatment.
Particular attention has been given to assessing the impact of netting on fruit quality parameters such as sunburn, windburn, colour, firmness and sugars, while in-field data is being collected to compare tree development and chill accrual under the nets compared with outside the nets.