Written by  Ian Goodwin, Lexie McClymont

Water vs pear crop (part 3)

Parking trees and post-harvest irrigation cut-off were evaluated in terms of potential water savings and the impacts on current and future production and are discussed here.

Post-harvest cut-off (Continued from last issue)
Post-harvest water application for Australian orchards is substantial.
This creates an opportunity to cut-back on irrigation with limited impacts on the developing flower organs in the reproductive buds.
A study on post-harvest deficit irrigation of pear (Pyrus communis Williams’ bon chrétien) in a commercial orchard in the Goulburn Valley showed not irrigating during the postharvest period had no effect on subsequent yield or fruit quality (Table 1).
Five irrigation treatments (0, 50, 100, 160 and 200 per cent of the grower’s normal irrigation volume) were applied during three seasons.
Irrigation of the 100% treatment ranged from 141 to 290 mm depending on rainfall.
Measurements showed no difference in yield between treatments, with mean yields of 45.3; 56.8; and 61.5 t/ha in the three subsequent seasons.
(cont next month)

See this article in Tree Fruit March 2020