Danielle Adsett, Manager Market Access at New Zealand Apples and Pears
Focus in the apple and pear industry has quickly shifted from picking, packing and exporting 97% of the forecasted 2020 crop, to registering blocks for markets, managing bloom, applying sprays to manage pest and disease pressure and creating labour plans (including plan A, B and C).
The New Zealand Apples and Pears team are nearly all the way through the annual Grower Workshops, where we touch base with members on the previous season to discuss market access issues, residue profiles and R&D outcomes, as well as any opportunities or issues for the coming season. Aside from the obvious issues that are at the forefront of every growers’ mind (and on the minds of the majority of the NZAPI team as we work towards plan A, B and C), managing pest and disease on orchard through spring to harvest, to ensure both regulatory and commercial MRL’s are met, while balancing pest, disease and quality out-turns are no less important. Managing pest and disease effectively year on year, with chemistry constantly being dropped out of the system will mean that we need to continue to find alternative options whether they are soft, targeted pesticides, precision agriculture, biologicals or improved cultural control. Striving towards continuous improvement of market access with considerations on chemistry, sustainability, and social license to operate remains a top priority for both NZAPI and its members.