New Zealand kiwifruit growers will have access to a new pre-harvest technology developed by USDA-fundedHazel Technologies.

Under an agreement with leading kiwifruit marketer Zespri, the Hazel Trex solution will be commercially released in New Zealand ahead of next year’s harvest, with the aim ofimproving kiwifruit orchard performance and increasing orchard efficiency.

The technology works by providing guidance on the best timing for orchard management practices.

According to Hazel Technologies, grower block trials have indicated that increases in king flower production of approximately 15 per cent can be achieved in Hayward (green) kiwifruit when using Hazel Trex.

“We are thrilled to support Zespri in the kiwifruit industry by making this innovative technology available,” said Adam Preslar, chief technology officer of Hazel Technologies. “Hazel is truly committed to improving fresh produce quality, reducing waste, and increasing sales from seed to shelf.”

Mary Black, innovation team leader for orchard productivity at Zespri, said growers were pleased with how Hazel Trex performed in trials on Hayward and Gold3 (marketed as SunGold) kiwifruit orchards this season.

“Through Zespri innovation trials, we have demonstrated that this technology can be used to optimise orchard practices to improve budbreak and flowering results,” Black explained. “We believe growers can use this technology to optimise the timing of budbreak enhancers, therefore improving the performance of their orchards.”