Water availability is the highest risk to the Orchard of the Future within the Crop Production programme. The Crop Production water strategy involves 1) determining how much water highly productive deciduous fruit trees use, 2) conducting research on various water saving technologies (a new WRC co-funded project on water saving under fixed and draped nets commenced in 2018/19), and 3) conducting research to show growers the negative effects of over-irrigation on production and quality. Hortgro has commissioned Dr Caren Jarmain to conduct an encompassing knowledge review on deciduous tree water use, irrigation practices, water stress etc. that will underpin research and planning relating to the Orchard of the Future within the Irrigation and Nutrition theme.
- Establishing quantitative relationships between water relations, growth, yield and quality of high performing commercial apple orchards. (S Midgley and S Zirebwa) – see Rootstocks and Nursery Tree Quality [Abstract]
- The effect of a water deficit on fruit tree phenology, fruit production, fruit quality and storability of Fuji and Cripps’ Pink apples. (S Midgley and S Daiber) – See Quality Management [Abstract]
- Scientific and practical guide to climate change and pome/stone fruit production in South Africa. (S Midgley) – see Dormancy and also Growing Season Climate [Abstract]
- Investigating the potential of fixed and draped netting technology for increasing water productivity and water savings in full bearing apple orchards under micro-irrigation. (S Midgley, E Lulane and S Jordaan)