In 2013 work began on the Small Tree High Productivity Initiative aimed at transforming the efficiency and productivity of Australian mango, avocado and macadamia orchards. A short video has been produced which outlines and illustrates the thinking behind the Initiative and the key research areas.
The Initiative includes multiple areas of research, including comprehensive field trials on trees planted at low, medium and high densities. A number of canopy management and training strategies aiming to keep the trees small and maximise yields as they mature are also being assessed. A feature of the Initiative is that these field trials are supported by fundamental research involving tree growth modelling using sophisticated computer programs and molecular biology to understand how the plants DNA controls flowering and vegetative growth. Identification of vigour managing rootstocks that restrict growth but not yield is another important aspect of the work.
The video can be viewed below:
Article submitted by Peter Rigden, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF).
Acknowledgements: The Small Tree High Productivity Initiative is run by the Queensland Government. Major partners include DAF, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation—an institute of the University of Queensland (supported by the Queensland Government) and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.
A key element of the Initiative has been co-funded by Hort Innovation using the across horticulture levy, voluntary contributions from DAF and matching funds from the Australian Government through the Hort Innovation project Transforming Tropical/Subtropical Tree Crop Productivity.