Feeding during Covid

I write this column while the Auckland region is under the Covid-19 Alert Level 3 status, and the rest of New Zealand is in Level 2. Who knows which way this will progress and by the time you read my column it will have happened.

So too we are fast heading through spring. And spring, for us avocado growers, is about getting organised and actioning our winter plans. It’s about starting early and keeping up a good clip, a good pace, to ensure we get through to summer.

Spring is about getting the tree up and running and getting the growth going for next year, while relieving some stress on the trees to grow the remaining fruit.

Heavy crops with small fruit are a common picture in the Western Bay of Plenty. This could impact our packouts and our market late in the season.

Small exposed fruit needs to come off on you first round of picking. Relieve the tree of its stress and grow the best fruit out. The trees will need time to achieve this and an early picking strategy should pay dividends this year.

AAL is pushing hard on nitrogen feeding – small and often is our strategy this year. Don’t overload the soils with a big single dose but consider small and more regular applications. Foliar feeding will be effective as well.

The markets are starting to show signs of a good year for growers, and while there may be a hiccup once the sales channels are full it will settle down into a good season. We just need to keep New Zealanders – and Australians – eating avocados during these Covid times.


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