WA growers review quality from the 2020/21 season

WA growers review quality from the 2020/21 season

Last Tuesday (18 May 2021), Noel Ainsworth (QDAF) and Dario Steffanelli (DPIRD) met with WA growers in Manjimup. These growers collaborated to monitor conditions in avocado supply chains to Sydney and Melbourne this past season. This was a chance to discuss in detail the supply chain conditions and resultant fruit quality when the fruit reaches the ripe stage suitable for consumers.

While only eight supply chains were monitored between November 2020 and January 2021, Noel said that the work confirmed that supply chain temperature management was quite good, sticking close to the planned 5˚C for most of the journey and in storage. After ripening, this resulted in acceptable fruit quality in over 90% of the fruit for these short supply chains.

This season, duplicate samples were also stored for an extra 14 days pre-ripening. This was done to investigate how well the fruit quality could hold up if there was a congested market resulting in extra storage or if the fruit was destined for longer supply chain export markets. This had a significant impact on the resultant fruit quality and generated some interesting discussions about what were the most important factors to promote fruit robustness.

Liz Dann, researcher with QAAFI, who was able to attend while doing trial work in WA, commented that apart from correct handling and supply chain management, that there are four main factors contributing to fruit robustness where breakdown from anthracnose is a risk:

  • an effective pre-harvest spray program involving copper and azoxystrobin (Amistar®) sprays,
  • an effective postharvest treatment using Graduate A+™ or Sportak®,
  • canopy management that opens up the canopy and removes dead wood, and
  • a nutrition program that balances the nitrogen and calcium needs of the crop and the tree.

The national AV18000 project findings will be front and centre in WA discussions over the next month:

  • a Japan export workshop for growers in Manjimup on 1 June,
  • the regional forums for growers planned for 22 June and 24 June, and
  • the wholesalers and ripeners workshop at Canning Vale planned for Friday 25 June.

The Avocado supply chain (AV18000) and Avocado industry development and extension (AV17005) projects have been funded by Hort Innovation, using the Hort Innovation avocado industry research and development levy, co-investment from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, and Avocados Australia and contributions from the Australian Government with in-kind support from Rudge Produce Systems.

Author: Noel Ainsworth, Principal Supply Chain Horticulturist, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Mobile 0409 003 909, Email noel.ainsworth@daf.qld.gov.au



Hort Innovation - Strategic Levy Investment (Avocado Fund)

Author: Noel Ainsworth, QDAF
Date Published: 28/05/2021