Research in this theme used to focus mainly on orchard mechanization. One of the major outcomes of this research was to highlight inefficiencies in especially pome fruit tree structure, which emphasized the need to encourage industry towards planting higher density orchards with more two-dimensional trees on productive and precocious rootstocks. The theme has been expanded to also include research relating to technology drivers such as big data, remote sensing, robotics, and GIS that will all contribute to changing the way we produce our fruit in our orchards of the future. This theme’s workgroup continue to meet annually and is keeping Hortgro abreast of the newest developments in fruit production.
- Climate and terrain tool for the Elgin- Grabouw-Vyeboom-Villiersdorp production area specific to pome fruit. (T Southey) – see Growing season climate
- Development of a best practice guideline for the construction of agricultural netting structures (K Bouwer)