The benchmarking project enters a new phase over this year. We are keen to get data on the ultimate benchmark, how productive our trees are being. There are two ways of knowing how good our management of our orchards is. For younger trees the most effective measurement is trunk diameter (we measure it at 600mm above the ground). For older trees we are interested in the production of nuts at harvest. Some orchardists have been keeping records of production for years, now we are going to systematically collect yield data into the benchmarking project so we can establish what production might be expected for particular cultivars of particular age.
This year we trialled a way of estimating the final crop by counting measured parts of sample trees in January. Now we need to find out what yield actually came from those trees and so we can work out how good our estimation method was.
Currently our benchmark coordinator, Ivan Barnett is working with the selected orchards on yield, and he is preparing orchardists for the benchmarking event this year – measuring trunk diameters, in May-June.
Ivan will be contacting a range of orchardists to see if they are willing to be involved. If you are interested, contact Ivan (033295986).