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 industry and, as such, have funding from a combination of industries/sources, 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? This project is responsible for developing new apricot varieties that are locally adapted, through a partnership with the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) National Apricot Breeding Program. This is a multi-industry project that is funded by the dried tree fruit levy, co-contribution from within the summerfruit industry, and Australian Government funds.
What’s the latest update? The project continues to select and evaluate the remaining seedlings from the National Apricot Breeding Program, working towards the commercialisation of the best lines.
For the dried tree fruit industry, this means the delivery of consistent high-cropping varieties of easily handled and processed apricot. The project is aiming for 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.
As part of the evaluations, fruit from the 2016/17 season has been entered into drying trials to look at drying ratio, quality and storage ability. Assessment is still ongoing here, with the results of storage trials possibly taking up to two years to come through, as the fruit darkens naturally and heads towards unacceptable quality under the standardised storage conditions of 65 per cent humidity at 25°C.
To see what’s happening on the fresh apricot side of things, head to the summerfruit Hortlink page.
Combined, all evaluation results of this latest season (including agronomic testing) have led to the removal of eight lines from the project, allowing more resources to focus on the now 16 lines remaining under commercial consideration.