Netting saves water at apple demonstration site

Page last updated: Friday, 23 August 2019 - 4:21pm

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Fruit diameter and weight

A representatitve sample of 10 trees in each block was closely monitored. Five of the trees from each area were thinned and pruned by project staff (DAFWA-managed) and compared with the other five trees thinned and pruned by the grower (grower-managed).

Irrigation for both netted areas and the un-netted control area were managed by DAFWA staff using an independent irrigation system to allow for variation from the growers normal irrigation practice.

The average fruit numbers per tree for each treatment are shown in Table 1. Unintentionally, thinning and pruning practices were inconsistent among treatments within the demonstration and also differed from the grower's practice. Although there were differences in the fruit numbers per tree, this was not always reflected in fruit size and weight.

Table 1 Average number of fruit and percentage of non-damaged fruit per treatment

Average number of fruit per tree

Percentage of non-damaged fruit

Block

DAFWA-managed

Grower-managed

DAFWA-managed

Grower-managed

Black net

105

239

66.1

71.8

White net

150

197

77.9

77.6

Un-netted DAFWA

100

100

73.6

69.5

Un-netted grower

 -

200

55.0

Table 2 Average diameter and fruit weight at demonstration site

 

Block

Average fruit diameter (mm)

Average fruit weight (g)

DAFWA-managed

Grower-managed

DAFWA-managed

Grower-managed

Black net

72.3

70.9

168.6

162.9

White net

71.8

71.9

171.0

174.2

Un-netted DAFWA

70.4

72.5

167.3

176.7

Un-netted rower

-

67.6

-

140.8

The un-netted grower-managed area had the lowest fruit diameter and weight suggesting that netting and irrigation have an effect on these two factors (Table 2).

The aim next season will be to thin fruit to between 140 and 160 fruit per tree for all treatments in order to better match commercial practice and allow better treatment comparisons.

Contact information

Rohan Prince
+61 (0)8 9368 3210
Susan Murphy-White
+61 (0)8 9777 0151