The dried tree fruit industry’s levy is currently invested in a multi-industry project. Multi-industry projects are carried out for the benefit of more than one levy industry and, as such, have funding from a combination of industries along with Australian Government contributions.
Selecting and releasing to industry high quality fresh and dried Australian apricots for export and domestic markets (MT12015)
Status: Ongoing project
What’s it all about? The Australian dried and fresh apricot industries currently grow mainly imported varieties that lack widespread adaptation to Australian climatic conditions. This project aims to develop superior apricot varieties that are locally adapted through a partnership with the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) National Apricot Breeding Program.
In its course, the project will address key quality issues relating to both the dried and fresh sectors. For the dried industry, this means delivering consistent high-cropping varieties of easily handled and processed fruit with high total soluble solids (TSS) levels and low dry ratios, to produce a high-quality, attractive dried product in the traditional Australian cut half style.
What’s the latest update? No new milestone report was due in the period since the last edition of Hortlink (Spring 2016). A summary of the latest findings is expected to be included in the following edition.
At the time of last reporting, the project was continuing to select and evaluate breeding-program varieties.
- Results from previous seasons had led to 14 of the 37 remaining lines being removed in the middle of 2016 – leaving more resources to focus on the 23 lines that were delivering good results for agronomic quality, fresh post-harvest handling and test drying.
- The researchers reported that early indications for the 2016/17 season appeared good.
- An extensive bee exclusion netting program to determine self-compatibility was to be implemented for the spring bloom period of 2016.
- Commercial numbers of trees were also being trialled in partnership with commercial growers.
If you’re interested in being a part of the trail or learning more about the project, please contact Will Gordon.