How to double your mango tree yields
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries senior development horticulturist Dr Geoff Dickinson said similar trials have been successful in the past.
“The current trial comes off previous work done by DAF in Mareeba for the last five years, which saw some outstanding results,” he said.
“Within that time we’ve reached the target of getting up to 50 tonnes of fruit per hectare a year.
“Now we are trying to roll it out commercially through these trials.”
The trials will take place on farms in Mareeba, Bowen and Katherine in the Northern Territory and will be using new technology for the production of the fruit.
“Mangoes are planted and grown with wide spaces between the rows and trees,” he said.
“We’re going to be using trellis’ to create a fruit wall and with that we’re aiming for all of the fruit to grow on the outside of the plant and not on the inside.”
He said the wall of fruit will help better the quality of the product.
“It’s going to give them more exposure to the sun so they will have that nice, red blush everyone likes,” he said.
“It’ll also reduce the marks on the fruit and makes harvesting and spraying them easier.
“The beauty of it is it’ll be so much more efficient with fertilising, pesticide spraying and it’s much more economical.”
Dr Dickinson said growing the trees using trellis’ and hedging techniques had its challenges.
“They’re very big trees so you have to make sure you have the right architecture,” he said.
“One thing we are doing is grafting a root stock to allow us to grow a dwarf tree so they don’t grow any bigger than three metres.”
He said the use of technology will also be implemented throughout the experiment.
“We’re working with the robotics team at CQUniveristy to develop systems for mechanical picking,” he said.
“They’re coming up with vision sensors that will detect fruit using a camera and that will be put onto a robotic picker and see how well it works.”
Manbulloo Ltd will participate in the trial and managing director Marie Piccone said they are excited to be involved.
“We’re working with the Queensland Department of Primary Industries to try and increase our yield, quality and productivity through different growing techniques,” she said.
“At the moment the trees are in the nursery but once they are planted we will be doing various things to monitor their behaviour and performance.
“We’ll be using some of our existing varieties such as the Kensington Pride and we’ll also be using some new varieties developed by the department.”
Source: Rural Weekly