A free app to help kiwifruit growers increase the productivity of their orchards has been developed by Zespri’s Orchard Productivity Centre.
Orchard Productivity Centre’s licensed varieties manager Jayne Chamberlain says the OPC Productivity Calculator is relatively simple to use.
The app, which can be downloaded from Googleplay and the AppStore had two calculators, one for fruit thinning and one for fresh weight and dry matter.
OPC’s licensed varieties manager Jayne Chamberlain says more functions may be added in future, if there’s a demand.
“This app has been two years in the planning and several months in development. We have consulted with growers about what kind of app would be of most value and this is the one they preferred.”
Jayne says while online apps might be expected to appeal to younger orchardists, it is in fact older growers who’ve been the first to test out and endorse it.
“We hope with the launch of this app, others in the business of developing apps may see the potential within the kiwifruit industry to develop their own applications to suit the needs of growers.”
The app which works offline once downloaded incudes all Zespri’s marketed varieties.
Using the system is relatively simple. It’s a case of entering the information requested and the calculator will produce answers to help with orchard management decision-making.
The thinning calculator provides an estimate of the fruit weight growers need to thin below, to minimise the volume of fruit which falls outside the size Zespri requires for export.
Three dates: full bloom, thinning and harvest are entered to provide the information about which weight fruit need to be thinned.
The fresh weight and dry matter calculator provides a predicted outcome at harvest for weight, count size, expected dry matter and TZG (taste qualities).
Growers need to enter full bloom date, sample date, harvest date, sample weight and sample dry matter percentage.
Additionally, they have the option to enter up to two girdle dates. This information is then combined to calculate fresh weight and dry matter predictions.
Predictions used in this app are based on industry fruit growth and dry matter curves which do not take into account varying crop loads, climatic conditions or management practices. So the results should be viewed as indicative only.