New Zealand’s most intensive orchards are considered the most productive in the world, according to international benchmarking. By changing the orchard system could we go even higher?
Improving efficiency of fruit production on the minimum amount of land while reducing inputs on the orchard is vital for the longevity and sustainability of the fruit tree industries around the world.
Scientists from Plant and Food Research and elsewhere in New Zealand have the advantage of drawing on 20 years of experience of working with intensive orchards. These growing areas are already achieving some of the highest crop yields in the world, according to international benchmarking, says orchard lead scientist Stuart Tustin.
Now there’re a pan-industry re-think of orchard production systems, working with Plant and Food Research, exploring the possibility of maximising available sunshine and increasing productivity to even higher levels. It’s all about getting the most from photosynthesis. See this short explainer here.
Scientist and podcaster Rebecca Bloomer speaks to fruit crops physiology scientist, Ben van Hooijdonk about a new system called Future Orchard Production Systems (or FOPS) that fulfils many of these requirements with impressive yield results so far. Listen to the podcast here.