Varietal improvement and conservation the economics of orchard renewal - david bell
Thoughts onOrchard Replacement and it’s Challenges David Bell, HVP, 2012
Why would the Industry consider Orchard Replacement?• Not uncommon in other horticultural crops• Aust industry has 2 500 000 trees > 20 yrs• Old orchards are a brake on productivity gains … for given new technology : – in a 7 000 000 tree industry – if 1 000 000 trees only in new orchards adopt, this represents 12.5% of the potential gain. – Eventually younger industries will overtake us.
Why would Growers consider Orchard Replacement?• Orchards in Decline/AVG (in place of Tree Removal)• New Genetics, improvements in – Productivity, Pest/Disease Resistance, Quality• New Growing Systems
No Numbers Benefit/Cost Orchard No Action Tree Removal ReplacementBenefits None Management ProductivityCosts None Mod High HighLong Term Decline? Stable? GainProductivity
Estimate of Gross Gains Available• Productivity – Two Tonne Taskforce aiming for => +100% or 3t NIS/Ha or $7 500/Ha gross How many orchards have low yield ‘locked in’? – AMS breeding selections => G1 +30% or 1t NIS/Ha or $2 500/Ha gross G2 + 60% or 2t NIS/Ha or $5 000/Ha gross• Pest/Disease/Quality - AVG?
Estimate of Costs• Tree removal, ground prep => $5 000/Ha• Replanting => $7 500/Ha• Lost gross production income => eg 6 yrs @ 3t NIS/Ha => 18t NIS/Ha or $45 000/Ha gross
Implications of Lost Production Income• Given new tech that doubles Gross/Ha … but results in X years of lost production• Gross breakeven is roughly double X yrs Minimising the period of lost production is the critical factor for Orchard Replacement
R&D Environment of Continuous Improvement• Continuous replacement of a small portion of an orchard may be an option – in an R&D environment delivering 5% gain/Yr – replacing 5% of an orchard per year – results in 75% of an orchard gaining at 5% – should overtake ‘stable’ orchards after 10 yrs
Why do people Remove trees yet not Replace them?Based on 25% of Orchard Tree Orchard Removal ReplacementCost/Ha $5 000 $12 500Initial Yield Reduction 17% - 21%* 25%Years to Equal Production 6 – 10* 5-8Long Term Gain 0%* 15% ?* = McFadyen et al
Challenges for Orchard Replacement• Minimise the period of lost production – Precocious, High Density Orchards – Staggered Replacement• Step increases in productivity, management, pest/disease, quality …• … plus an R&D environment delivering continuous gains.• Reduced tree removal & replant costs
Potential Benefits of Orchard Replacement• Long term increase in productivity instead of long term decline• Old orchards benefit from new technologies• An industry advancing instead of stagnating – Reduced risk, increased responsivenessThe technology may not be ready today, but it is a goal worth chasing.