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Canopy management tree training & crop loading – opportunities to learn from the apple industry - john wilkie

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Canopy management tree training & crop loading – opportunities to learn from the apple industry - john wilkie

  1. 1. Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Queensland Macadamia crop load and productivity, and lessons from the apple industry John WilkieDepartment of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Queensland
  2. 2. My vision for macadamia orchard systems of the future: • Vigour managing rootstocks • High plant densities • Optimising light interception and distribution • Understanding and management of crop load© The State of Queensland, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 2
  3. 3. Crop load experimental design Racemes per canopy volume (racemes/m3) 70 60 A203 spring 2006 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 20 40 60 80 100 Treatment (Percentage of racemes removed)© The State of Queensland, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 3
  4. 4. Crop load – the vegetative/reproductive balance of the tree • High crop load  low vegetative growth 1400 5/01/2007 A 1200 • Low crop load  high vegetative y = 2.72 + 40.91 . 0.907 x Mean total shoot growth per branch (mm) 1000 r2 = 0.46 growth 800 • Apple growers use this 600 understanding to manage their 400 canopies 200 0 1400 22/03/2007 B 1200 x 1000 y = 39.28 + 79.29 . 0.905 r2 = 0.40 800 600 400 200 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 -3 Raceme density (racemes m )© The State of Queensland, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 4
  5. 5. Crop load - fruit size relationships 12 High crop load  small fruit/nuts Nut weight (g) • 11 10 • Low crop load  large fruit/nuts 9 • Fruit size is extremely important in 8 apple production and growers use 7 these crop load/fruit size 6 relationships to manipulate fruit 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 size. Yield efficiency (kg NIS m-3) 45 Kernel recovery (%) 40 35 30 25 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6© The State of Queensland, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Yield efficiency (kg NIS m-3) 5
  6. 6. Crop load – flowering in the following season Raceme density 2007 (racemes m ) -3 A203 (a) • Crop load in one season affects 100 y = 13.94 - 139.90 . 0.772 x flowering in the following season. 80 P < 0.0001 r2 = 0.70 • This is consistent with the alternate 60 bearing cycles in crops such as 40 apples. 20 • Apple growers manage their crop 0 loads to ensure flowering in the 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 following season. Raceme density 2006 (racemes m ) -3 Raceme density 2007 (racemes m ) (b) -3 100 y = 13.92 - 252.19 . 4.28e-6 . x P < 0.0001 80 r2 = 0.71 60 40 20 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 -3 Yield efficiency 2007 (kg NIS m )© The State of Queensland, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 6
  7. 7. Crop load - Raceme density and yield • Yield increases with raceme density up to a NIS per canopy volume (NIS/m3) A203 2006-07 point, after which there is no further increase in 0.6 yield. • The tree has some ability 0.4 to compensate for low 849 2007-08 A203 2007-08 raceme densities. 0.2 0.0 0 20 40 60 80 100 Racemes per canopy volume (racemes/m3)© The State of Queensland, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 7
  8. 8. Crop load - Summary • Crop load affects a range of physiological processes within the tree. • In apple, there are a range of methods that growers can use to manage crop loads to achieve the optimum balance between productivity and quality for their canopies. • In macadamia, I think we need to improve our understand of the effect of crop load on the system, and then develop methods to manage it.© The State of Queensland, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 8

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