ON-FARM CITRUS TRIALS IN AUSTRALIA: EFFECTIVE EXTENSION FOR COMMERCIAL ASSESSMENT
Many products and practices have been promoted to the citrus industry and little is known about their performance under Australian conditions. Some of these products have been trialled within Australia. Performance of some of these products on-farm has been highly variable causing confusion in the industry. The variability could be due to differences in site (e.g. soil, climate, variety) and/or management (e.g. irrigation, nutrition). This project examines the on-farm cost-benefit of a number of citrus practices that have been promoted to industry. The project utilizes active learning principles by facilitating grower participation with trials (planning, maintenance and reporting). Over 20 trials have been implemented in the past two seasons. Trials included ground and foliar potassium applications, pruning, foliar fruit size sprays, kaolin clay foliar sprays and crop regulation practices. Trials have resulted in cost savings with reduced potassium application. The project developed tools and methods to enable efficient and effective in-field collection and analysis of data. This enabled the project to implement more trials. Single tree replicated trials (RCBD) are the favoured method to conduct trials. Grower feedback has been very positive indicating that it has helped them make improved and cost effective management decisions. On-farm trials are a very effective extension method to obtain fast assessment and adoption of best management practices suited to site conditions.
Steven G. Falivene, , Karen Connolly, and Mary Cannard, (2015). ON-FARM CITRUS TRIALS IN AUSTRALIA: EFFECTIVE EXTENSION FOR COMMERCIAL ASSESSMENT. Acta Hortic. 1065, 1839-1844
trial methodology, grower adoption, adult learning, row trials, grower trials