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Summerfruit NZ, November Update

Posted By Jo Pentreath | November 12, 2020

Richard Mills, Summerfruit NZ Market Support

Cherry harvest is underway, as is the early nectarine, MayGlo. To date the growing degree days (as of 26th Oct) are as good as they have been in the last five seasons. Whilst we are getting a few very warm days, it’s the evenings that seem to be keeping the units collected high. I remember years ago having a whole paddock load of seedling tomatoes frosted in their trays at labour weekend, but I just don’t see that happening this season. This is only one man’s opinion and I have been wrong before, but it’s a good start to producing the high-quality fruit that got good consumer feedback last season!

Again, the labour conundrum is perplexing me with many of my contacts thinking they are OK but taking a wait and see attitude. Stonefruit thinning is well underway, some with big jobs and some only needing a touch up, and no-one has yet to comment that they are not getting the job done. The usual comments about the locals not turning up is there, and the elephant in the Summerfruit room is the size of the apple thinning job. We wait and see, and cross fingers and toes that the Government will see sense very soon. Richard Palmer, Summerfruit NZ’s Chief Executive has been investing a significant amount of time, along with the rest of the Wellington-based team to. If you require labour, please register your interest at https://worktheseasons.co.nz/horticulture to tap into the university students who will be becoming available soon.

The crops are looking good apart from the occasional light bit here and there ( apricots and plums mainly) with no issues for cherries, peaches and nectarines.

The SummerGreen meeting on the 21st of October had 30 plus attendees and a good chat over a beer afterwards. Topics covered included high producing systems from standard plantings and traditional vase shape, to a modified Y-trellis. We have seen the FOPS style promoted, so it was good to see what other systems are being used. A presentation on the data insights that can be extracted from drones was intriguing and the software is only going to get better with time. It’s always a privilege to be able to go onto someone else’s orchard and critic what they are doing.

Carpophilus beetles should be out and about by now and will be attracted to any ripe or ripening fruit. Obviously, cherries are the first candidates but soft fruits such as berries will also be a target. We are also suspicious of fruit that has been dumped outdoors and attracts the beetles as it decomposes. Your orchard hygiene and that of the surrounding areas will be an important part of control. I guess that there are more Carpophilus out there in the fruit growing world than we realise – if you don’t measure you don’t know. Please refer to the SummerGreen Manual on the Summerfruit portal  – I’m happy to help you get into the Portal if you have forgotten your password.

Summerfruit NZ in conjunction with the Agchem merchants, are offering a free one-year subscription to the HortPlus electronic spray diary – SprayLog. If you are interested please contact me 021 632559 or email richard.mills@summerfruitnz.co.nz.

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