Cherry Industry Market Access Program (multiple projects)
Status: Ongoing program, with new projects coming on board
What’s it all about? As reported in the last edition of Hortlink (2017, edition 1) the Cherry Industry Market Access Program is a key priority for Hort Innovation and the cherry industry. The new initiative will increase market access for the fruit, providing management practices and evidential support for market-access negotiations.
What’s the latest update? The program is currently made up of five sub-projects:
- Implementing brown sugar flotation (BSF) for assuring freedom of fruit from Qfly (CY16011), which was contracted at the end of March. This project will enable implementation of brown sugar flotation testing for Queensland fruit fly at all appropriate control points in the production chain, as part of a systems approach, to assess the successful performance of control measures to support exports. Look for updates in future editions of Hortlink.
- Review of host status of cherries for codling moth (CY16008), a short project that will soon be wrapping up. It has been responsible for establishing the risk of codling moth in the cherry export pathway, and recommending how it can be mitigated to an appropriate level of protection. With a final report due to Hort Innovation shortly, it is expected that project results will be available in the next edition of Hortlink.
- Methyl bromide disinfestation of cherries for Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) (CY16009), for which Hort Innovation is soon to appoint a service provider. This project will provide data packages and peer-reviewed publications on methyl bromide disinfestation of cherries for Queensland fruit fly, in order to develop improved market access with commercially viable protocols.
- Cherry Industry Biosecurity planning review (CY16010), which was contracted in January this year. This project is updating the Cherry Industry Biosecurity Plan and progressing implementation of biosecurity planning, to assist the industry in effectively managing biosecurity risks. Look for an update in the next edition of Hortlink.
- Developing market access to the US for cherries based on irradiation and methyl bromide (CY16012), which was contracted in late February. This component of the market access program will undertake and report on a program of investigation and consultation on opening cherry market access to the US, based on irradiation and methyl bromide. Updates will be provided in Hortlink as available.
Improving fruit quality and consistency in cherries through maximised nutrient availability (CY12002)
Status: Ongoing project
What’s it all about? Beginning in 2012, this five-year Tasmanian project is investigating whether soil microbiology can be utilised to maximise the availability and uptake of plant nutrients – essentially improving soil health to in turn boost crop yields and fruit quality.
What’s the latest update? This project has two trial sites in Tasmania – one in the Derwent Valley and one in Nicholls Rivulet. Both are looking at the effects of conventional and alternative nutrient management, with the alternative treatment including humates with combined minerals, and the application of ‘effective microbes’ (a mix of about 80 different species of beneficial microorganisms). While no new milestone report was due in the period since the last edition of Hortlink (2017, edition 1), you can see last edition’s update here and will find the latest info in the next Hortlink.
Thrips species in NSW cherries and the timing of associated ring russet injury (CY16000)
Status: Near-completed project
What’s it all about? Established in September last year and now due for completion, this project has been examining thrips species and activity in New South Wales orchards, and investigating correlation with ring russet damage.
What’s the latest update? With the project’s final report due to Hort Innovation shortly, it is expected a full project wrap-up will be provided in the next edition of Hortlink. To read the project update from last edition, click here.
Cherry industry minor use program (CY16005)
Status: Ongoing project
What’s it all about? Through this project, levy funds and Australian Government contributions are used to renew and apply for new minor use permits for the cherry industry. These submissions are prepared and submitted to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).
What’s the latest update? All current minor use permits for the industry are searchable at portal.apvma.gov.au/permits. Permit updates are also circulated in Hort Innovation’s Growing Innovation e-newsletter, which levy-paying members receive monthly. Not a member? Sign up for free here.
Cherry communications program (CY15002)
Status: Ongoing project
What’s it all about? This program is focused on maintaining and improving strong communication with cherry growers and other industry stakeholders. It works to supply timely industry news, R&D updates, marketing outcomes and other key information so that growers are able to make informed decisions as new opportunities and challenges arise.
This program is supported by the project Cherry communications support (CY16003), which provides funding to Cherry Growers Australia to facilitate work with the communication program’s external service provider.
What’s the latest update? A number of regular communication channels continue to be produced and maintained by this project, including but not limited to:
- The industry’s quarterly Australian Cherries magazine, available in both print and electronic form suitable for desktop, mobile and tablet viewing. To view issues online, click here and select ‘browse issues’ at the bottom of the page. Issues are also available from Hort Innovation’s cherry grower page.
- The industry’s monthly Cherry Newsletter e-newsletter, with past editions available here.
- Videos communicating R&D project outputs. The first video, looking at crop variability in cherries, is available for viewing here.
Other R&D projects of note…
- Export readiness and market access (CY16004), which is in the final stages of being contracted and will soon begin to support the export readiness of the cherry industry. The project will assist in designing training materials for growers, packers and exporters on the requirements for export to markets of interest; facilitate the registration and audit of export facilities; and develop and implement a monitoring and management program for a range of pests and disease of quarantine concern. The project will also maintain a biosecurity management plan and deliver an export strategy detailing market access, improvement and development priorities, among other goals. A more detailed update will be provided in the next edition of Hortlink.
- Horticulture trade intelligence reporting 2017-2019 (MT16011), a new project to provide easy-to-read and easy-to-act-upon trade performance information to Australia’s horticulture industry. Quarterly reports will be made available for download through the Hort Innovation website, with the first cherry report expected to be made available on the grower page in the near future.
- Australian cherry evaluation utilising precocious rootstocks (CY12024), which you can watch a video about here. The project is evaluating cherry varieties developed in the industry’s breeding program (there are current 130 breeding lines of interest to be evaluated). The lines are being assessed on the most promising precocious rootstocks currently available to the Australian cherry industry to unlock their potential. The research will provide new, well-adapted varieties and information on preferred rootstock combinations to increase profitability and a competitive advantage for Australian growers.
- SITplus: Developing and optimising production of a male-only, temperature-sensitive-lethal, strain of Qfly, B. tryoni (MT13059), which is developing a ‘temperature-sensitive lethal, male-selecting’ strain of Queensland fruit fly (Qfly). To put simply, the research will allow for male-only, sterile fruit flies to be bred in large numbers. It is one of the key projects in the broader strategic co-investment SITplus initiative that’s tackling the issue of Qfly. The male flies are to ultimately be released in growing regions of south-eastern Australian that are affected by Qfly. They will come to outnumber the wild male population in these areas and by mating with wild females – and limiting the opportunity for wild males to do so – they are intended to lead to the collapse of wild Qfly populations. The cherry industry is one of several involved in the project.
- Continuation of pilot systems to validate Pest Free Place of Production for Queensland fruit fly in the Yarra Valley (MT15028), which is currently wrapping up. The project has followed on from previous work to develop systems to validate ‘Pest Free Place of Production’ for Queensland fruit fly in the Yarra Valley, helping support market access for local growers by enabling trade of host fruits to several domestic markets without the need for costly treatment and certification. It has been supported by a number of industries.