Getting hands dirty for better apples and pears

​​The Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) has commenced a $800,000 research project to help Australian apple and pear growers stay at the leading-edge by better understanding the connection between healthy soils and productive orchards.

The project Improved Australian apple and pear orchards soil health and plant nutrition is part of the apple and pear industry’s Productivity, Irrigation, Pests and Soils (PIPS3) program.

The project is led by TIA Research Fellow, Dr Nigel Swarts, who is well-known by industry for his previous research aimed at enhancing the productivity, profitability, and sustainability of orchards.

“Healthy soils play a critical role in the productivity of orchards through enhanced nutrient availability and resilience to climate variability. Through this project we are aiming to develop the knowledge to help optimise soil health even further,” Dr Swarts said.

“The desired outcome is an apple and pear orchard production system that maximises quality and yield with high nutrient use efficiency under increasingly variable climates. Findings from this research will be included in a user-friendly web application that will help growers make informed management decisions.”

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