One of the key skills of being a successful grower is understanding where to put your best effort in your business that ensures you are making improvements that allow you to continue to succeed into the future. I often use the sport analogy “what won the last world cup, will often not win the next one” the same is in fruit growing.
A good question to ask yourself is – what happened this last season? What did I learn from it and how will the learning turn into improvements in my business going forward?
For each grower it will be different:
- Blocks that suffered from pest or disease need to look for ways improvements can be made. Were the issues around timing? Product? Application technique? Conditions?
- Blocks that had issues with fruit recovery need to understand where the fruit was lost and why? Were fruit numbers correct on the trees? Was colour and issue? Did fruit drop pre harvest? Was the fruit not good enough on the tree? Or was the problem within the picking crews?
- If fruit size was not up to expectation. Could you have done anything to make improvements? Was pollination/seed number an issue? Did you get the hand thinning done on time. Are you being realistic on your block production targets or over optimistic?
The 2022 season will be remembers as being generally more difficult than kind, with the weather providing more challenges than solutions. What should also be remembered is that there were still some very good fruit grown in this region in these same conditions.
The winning growers were those that generally did not have knee jerk reactions to challenges, but did plan well in advance:
- Blocks were well drained before heavy rain.
- Crop load and vigour management was all planned and managed to achieve targeted goals
- Viable pollen sources were available to bees even though weather windows were very short
- Spray applications were done correctly / in the best conditions / at the right stage
- Blocks that are not profitable and unlikely to improve – need to be turned over and focus resources somewhere else
Just remember that next years game is unlikely to be the same as this year, but I am sure it is going to be another exciting ride, get you planning underway to optimise your results.