UC research on pedestrian orchards at Kearney featured on the local news.
For the past 17 years, Kevin Day, a UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor for Tulare County, and Ted DeJong, UCCE specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, have been comparing the quality of fruit on conventional peach and nectarine trees and smaller trees grown on size controlling rootstock, reported KSEE Channel 24 news and KMJ Farm Report in Fresno. The impact of plant spacing and limb training were also assessed.
The goal is to have trees below 8 to 9 feet with traditional scion cultivars on size controlling rootstock. With reduced yield per tree due to the size, the distance between rows and trees in the row can be reduced to get the same or higher yield per acre. Controller 9 is currently being planted commercially. Farmers can get some yield the second year after planting.
Shorter trees can eliminate ladder work, reducing labor costs and increasing worker safety. For more information, please see the ANR News blog.
See the video on the KSEE Channel 24 website.
Listen to a podcast of the KMJ Farm Report with the story on the peaches and nectarines on 8/12/2014 located at 44:30 minutes into the podcast./span>
Stonefruit rootstocks evaluated by UC Scientists help control tree size.