Orchard Management

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Irrigation & Soil

Irrigation & Soil

Profile Establishment

Profile Establishment

Most horticultural regions, in particular those areas containing almond orchards, have recently experienced a combination of two scenarios: 1. less rainfall than the already low, average, annual rainfall (e.g. Loxton Research Centre mean annual rainfall from 1984-2008 was 264mm compared with 172mm in 2008), and 2. a recent increase in the use of drip irrigation systems. If not managed appropriately, the combination of these two scenarios has the potential to greatly affect tree performance and yield.

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Soil Acidification

Soil Acidification

The formation of acid in soil is a side effect of most forms of modern agriculture and can be particularly important in intensive systems. Many of the soils used in Australian agriculture initially had pH values suitable for growth of most plants or have residual calcium carbonate (lime) that counteracts the effects of any acidity formed.

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Super Soils

Super Soils

Australian horticultural industries face an ongoing requirement of increasing their productivity to remain world competitive. Productivity is a complex topic involving numerous components, but a key area is the efficient use of our natural resources leading to high yields per ML of irrigation water or kg of fertiliser at reduced costs.

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Water Budgeting

Water Budgeting

Periods of water stress are detrimental to tree production and are best avoided by closely monitoring potential tree water use for effective irrigation scheduling.

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CT Trial Statistical Update

CT Trial Statistical Update

The Almond Board of Australia with the assistance of Horticulture Australia Ltd has undertaken a production based, research and development project entitled “Developing Optimal Nutritional and Irrigation Requirements for Almonds” or “the CT Trial” over the time period of 2003-2010.

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Nutrition

Nutrition

Leaf Tissue Analysis Review

Leaf Tissue Analysis Review

Plant analysis as a method to diagnose plant health, dates back to the early 1900’s (Reuter & Robinson 1997). Plant analysis has been developed to provide information on the nutrient status of plants as a guide to nutrient management for optimal plant production whilst also minimising the risk of environmental and economic cost of over-fertilisation (Reuter & Robinson 1997).

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Timing of Inputs

Timing of Inputs

Soil solution monitoring beneath an Almond irrigation and nutrition trial identified key considerations for managing fertigation in high input/high yield almond production systems. This factsheet reports issues relating to the timing of nutrient applications.

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Balancing Nutrient Input and Output

Balancing Nutrient Input and Output

Soil solution monitoring beneath an Almond irrigation and nutrition trial identified key considerations for managing fertigation in high input/high yield almond production systems. This factsheet reports issues relating to the balance between nutrient applications, irrigation and crop requirements.

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Post Harvest Nutrition

Post Harvest Nutrition

The idea of post harvest application of fertilisers and the issues discussed below will not be new information for most growers; however the aim will be to revisit the basics. In addition it is a good time as well to consider whether there is a place for the bud-building foliar sprays used to improve bud strength at the ABA’s Almond Optimisation Trial located at CT Farms (“CT Trial”).

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It's Not Just NPK

It’s Not Just NPK

Too often when fertigation schedules are drawn up the main focus is on nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Naturally they are the main macro elements required in large quantities for tree growth and crop production however there are also other macro and micro elements that are required in varying quantities.

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Pollination

Pollination

Pollination 101

Pollination 101

As almond growers, we all know that bees are needed to pollinate our trees so that we can get a crop. If the pollination is reduced due to adverse weather conditions or the poor synchronisation between varieties is reduced, low yields can result. But why is this? What is the biology involved in an almond tree that requires bees and multiple varieties in order to get a crop?

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Better Almond Pollination

Better Almond Pollination

Good pollination provides the foundation for good yield, so it is important to ensure that honeybee hives are provided in the most effective manner. Saul Cunningham’s research focused on the influence of pollination strategy on bee activity (which drives pollination) and the flower to fruit conversion ratio (which is strongly influenced by pollination).

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Phenology standard for Almonds

Phenology standard for Almonds

Phenology describes when particular growth stages occur, with an emphasis on seasonal or climatic changes. It provides useful information that can assist in orchard operations and to researchers. It is important that the description of the phenological stages is clear and accepted by the users of the standard.

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Assessing Phenology of Almonds

Assessing Phenology of Almonds

This factsheet describes how to measure phenology of a particular developmental stage with specific examples of measuring flowering and hull split. A photoscale for stages of flowering and for hull-split are included.

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Operations

Operations

Implementing Best Practice for Orchard Hygiene

Implementing Best Practice for Orchard Hygiene

As our industry grows, the potential for Carpophilus Beetle and Carob Moth populations to survive over winter and damage the new season crop is increasing.

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