The HORTGRO Science Pome Field managed to stimulate much interest among the 50 growers who attended.

The purpose of the field day was to follow up on the June 2016 HORTGRO Science Technical Symposium Pome Fruit Field Day in order to get a better impression of the “crop carrying” orchards.

Inteligro Technical Marketing Specialist, Tobie van Rooyen, said that the day enabled growers and industry players to keep updated on the latest industry trends and research.

“We operate in a highly competitive industry so opportunities like the Pome Field Day allow growers to stay competitive and ahead of the curve,” van Rooyen said.

“It is also a great opportunity for growers to network and share knowledge.”

HORTGRO Science General Manager Hugh Campbell said the field day confirmed that the objectives of the ‘Orchard of the Future’ in terms of yield, quality, and that orchard efficiency could be achieved if the right inputs were made at the right time.

“The introduction of new apple rootstocks gives more options to choose from and growers are encouraged to start testing M9 and some of the Geneva rootstocks in the different vigour categories,” he said.

“Dr Xolani Siboza’s data shows a significantly higher yield efficiency with these rootstocks.”

Growers were exposed to issues including high density orchards, training systems, and an industry rootstock trial.

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Tobie van Rooyen

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Growers checking out rootstock/interstem performance at an Oak Valley orchard

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(Photos by Elise-Marie Steenkamp)