Profitable pear systems
The majority of Australian pears are grown in Victoria with a farm gate value of $85 million. Pear production however has decreased by 30 per cent in the past 10 to 15 years. Decline in pear production and little re-planting has been driven by the loss in domestic and international markets for the traditional pear varieties grown in Australia.
The Australian National Pear Breeding Program (ANPBP) based in Tatura and conducted by the Biosciences Research Division has developed new varieties with the potential to recapture the fresh pear market. Most pears are grown using traditional methods where maximum production may take 10 years from planting and yields can be highly variable from year-to-year and from tree-to-tree. Modern orchard production systems for fresh pears requires investigation to achieve maximum yield and fruit quality.
This project targets the Goulburn Valley fruit growing region and is funded from July 2012 – May 2018.
- Investigate the mechanism and effects of rootstock, training system and planting density on tree growth, precocity, fruitfulness, yield, and fruit quality.
- Explore the effects of root pruning and irrigation management on tree physiology, growth and precocity.
- Explore the relationships between fruit bud type and fruit quality and investigate the principles of bud extinction of new pear varieties.
How will this research contribute to productivity?
- Develop orchard management systems that produce high yields within five years of planting and sustain consistent first-rate quality fruit.
- Reduced labour inputs through creating systems suitable to mechanisation.
- Provide a community resource for up-skilling traditional pear growers.
Research partner/s and collaborators
Publications and reports
McClymont, L., Breen, K., Goodwin, I., Tustin, S. and van Hooijdonk, B. (2013). Bearing habits of new pear varieties. Australian Fruitgrower 7(4):26-27
McClymont, L., Goodwin, I. and Cornwall, D. (2013). Researching management of new pear varieties. Australian Fruitgrower 7(7):32-33.
Dr Ian Goodwin
Acting Research Manager Horticulture Production Sciences