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Australian Berry Production

Problem Solving Strategies for
Berry Crop Profitability, Quality & Yield

Berry Profitability

Fresh ripe red strawberries from the farm

Berry Profitability

Problem

Berries Early To Market

Solution

The most profitable crops are those that can be harvested early in the season when demand is high and supply is limited. The Early To Market Program helps growers produce grape yield and quality early in the season when it is a challenge.

Products

Shape / Size / Sugar
Rhino HighTech
Better fruit formation
Improves fruit shape, particularly elongation
Highly active and non-hormonal
Promotes cell division
Batallón
Increases fruit size and yield
Bombardier Sugar
Promotes fruit sugar (brix)
Increases the synthesis of sucrose
Homogeneous ripening

Problem

Maintaining Berry Quality

Solution

One of the largest constraints in strawberry and blueberry production is maintaining high fruit quality over the harvest period. Our program maximises high packout grade fruit all season with variable weather.

Products

Shape / Size / Sugar
Rhino HighTech
Better fruit formation
Improves fruit shape, particularly elongation
Highly active and non-hormonal
Promotes cell division
Batallón
Increases fruit size and yield
Bombardier Sugar
Promotes fruit sugar (brix)
Increases the synthesis of sucrose
Homogeneous ripening

Berries - Grower Case Study

Crop: Strawberries

Region: Bundaberg, Qld

Grower Background
The goal of Luscious Fruit is to focus on the quality and taste of strawberries.  Not long after planting this year's crop there was a water pump and bore failure which caused crop stress. Despite this setback the business enjoyed a dramatic increase in yield. They were able to go to market early and saw a reduction plant loss from disease and predatory bugs.

The Strategy
Soil Health Products
Mycogel
Rhino Hi-Tech
Batallon
Bombardier Sugar

Application
Applied as fertigation and foliar

 

Interview with Grace Lim, Luscious Fruit, Queensland

New To Industry
I started using Neil’s advice around 3 years ago, when he was working as a reseller agronomist.  For this season to start, I didn’t know that he had left them and had to track him down, finding him at Sustainable Farming Solutions as Technical Manager. I think the advice and direction from him in relation to using Kimitec products has been the reason we have managed to grow strawberries that have a sweet taste and look great.

Focus on Strawberry Quality & Taste
My aim is not to produce tons and tons of strawberries, but to focus on quality. I never liked strawberries until I purchased the farm and discovered what they can actually taste like. The positive feedback about the taste has been enormous. People keep coming up to me and saying, "I've never tasted the strawberries like these. Why are the strawberries in Coles and Woolworths not like these?

More Efficient Product
When I first saw Neil’s list, I initially thought my costs would go up. But I found I got more use out of less product than before, so the economics were fine.

Increased Yield
We’ve achieved a 50% increase in tonnage on the previous year which was remarkable.

Resilience To Crop Stress
Just two days after our crop was planted, our pump failed. We had to irrigate with a much smaller pump and there was a lot of crop stress. I thought the crop would be poorer as a result, but Neil helped rescue the crop. The Sustainable Farming Solutions treatment of Kimitec Biostimulants helped the plants become more resilient to disease and stress. 

Early To Harvest
Last year I didn't start harvesting until June. This year we harvested on Mother's Day and enjoyed a price benefit. I didn't think the plants were going to do that well due to the heat stress that occurred. 

Less Disease
We had purchased strawberry plugs rather than bare roots. The plugs survived much better compared to bare roots, but they were still were still subject to stress in terms of access to proper nutrients and irrigation.

I could see online that Strawberry growers were discussing how significant parts of their crops were dying from Red Leaf Syndrome. I didn't experience that. The Sustainable Farming treatment Neil recommended helped the plants be more resilient to disease. I did not use any pesticides. I relied on predatory bugs which I bought twice for the season.  I also used fungicides minimally.

Improve Strawberry Quality, Yield, Resilience
We’ve seen how the Sustainable Farming Solutions Kimitec product treatments revived the strawberries after significant crop stress. We’ve profited from being able to get to market early with a very sweet, quality product. We are delighted with the results from the Kimitec product through Sustainable Farming Solutions, and will continue to use it again next season.

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