MANAGING OPEN FIELD PRODUCTION OF PERENNIAL HORTICULTURAL CROPS WITH TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS
Technological innovations appear under-utilised in many fruit tree crops, whereas viticulture, citriculture and vegetable crops have largely automated planting, pruning, thinning and harvesting and integrated GPS and/or GIS in their cultivation practises. As a consequence of the trend from pedestrian to tall orchards, innovation and technology is required to overcome shading, particularly in the lower part of the tree canopy. Types, properties and prices are presented of reflective ground covers (textile, aluminium and paper) as well as organic alternatives (lime, straw) as well as titanium dioxide and bio-degradable white line marker paint with additives. To combat sunburn, kaolin, carnauba-wax and other products are available, which can be combined with evaporative cooling. Mechanisation includes new machinery for mechanical thinning, pruning and harvesting to save labour. An autonomous prime mover (APM) is being developed for camera systems for assessment of flowering intensity, alternate bearing, fruit set, June drop, leaf nutrient status, pest and disease control and yield estimation/prediction. The two approaches for better light utilisation in row systems include reducing the spacing of every row from the current 14 feet (4.3 m) to 10-12 feet (3.0 to 2.6 m) or maintaining the spacing of a centre row at 14 feet (4.3 m) or ease of access, but narrower row spacing either side to less than 10 feet (3.0 m) The OTR (over the tree rows) developed by Washington State University and two commercial European multi-row sprayers are presented and new harvesting techniques with pre-sorting in the orchard.
Blanke, M.M. (2011). MANAGING OPEN FIELD PRODUCTION OF PERENNIAL HORTICULTURAL CROPS WITH TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS . Acta Hortic. 916, 121-128
apple, climate change, global warming, ground cover; mechanisation, reflective ground cover; resource conservation, sustainable horticulture, sunburn