Apple growers can benefit from the latest research on managing powdery mildew and controlling Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) thanks to a new tree fruit conference.
Hosted by AHDB Horticulture and East Malling, the conference will take place on 28 February at East Malling, Kent, and will deliver a technical update for the tree fruit industry.
Industry experts, PhD students and researchers will present on a range of industry issues, with advice on how to implement findings in commercial orchards.
Research fellow at Greenwich NRI, Richard Colgan, said: “We will be presenting an overview of the newly awarded project on factors that influence the accumulation of dry matter in apples.
“We know that for apples such as Gala, high dry matter content at harvest tends to retain better eating quality for longer, because much of the dry matter content is made up of sugars. We hope to optimise agronomic practices such as thinning and pruning techniques and methods to increase light interception into tree canopies that will maximise the eating quality of UK grown fruit.”
Other research projects include managing apple canker and cherry canker, pest control research on SWD, spider mite in cherry, codling and tortrix moth in apples and pear bud weevil, improving long-term storage of apples and non-invasive techniques for measuring apple maturity.
AHDB Horticulture’s knowledge exchange manager Scott Raffle said: “The Tree Fruit Conference is a key date in the industry calendar, as we’re able to showcase the incredible breadth of critical research AHDB is funding to help address the many challenges growers face, from pest and disease management to efficient storage of fruit.
“We believe growers will really benefit from the fantastic research being showcased at the conference, which is of the highest priority for the industry.”
Colgan added: “Moreover, it’s an opportunity for growers to flag up problems that they are facing on their farms and discuss possible solutions.”