GoldFutures project reviews
South Auckland and Waikato growers involved in the GoldFutures project met this week to review data from year two of this four-year Psa research project. Tauranga, Te Puke and Edgecumbe growers similarly met in August to discuss their results and workshop orchard specific improvements for the 2019 season.
The GoldFutures project is led by Phillip Elmer and Stephen Hoyte from Plant and Food Research and includes 10 orchard pairs, all with challenging environmental conditions for Psa. Within each orchard pair, one site has historically shown fewer Psa impacts, and the project aims to better understand management practices that link to this result.
Year one results uncovered some sprayer performance issues, and noticeable differences in the numbers and timings of sprays applied within the orchard groupings. Orchards less affected by Psa had generally followed a more robust and better-timed spray programme and had more emphasis on tool hygiene. Second year results showed growers had adopted changes recommended from the previous year, and overall differences between “challenged” and “managed” blocks had decreased. Growers identified further refinements for the coming year with improved orchard shelter and drainage, overcoming the challenge of getting sprays applied to difficult wet blocks.
Research results are still being collated and will be presented through Kiwifruit Journal articles and via the KVH website when available.