Australia’s agricultural industries are among the most sophisticated, highly mechanised and environmentally aware in the world. Australian farmers are renowned for the production of high quality produce. The Australian nut industry is no exception, having developed in this competitive, globally-focussed environment. Tree nut production in Australia is dominated in scale by almonds and macadamias, with almonds representing more than 50% of the total area planted and tonnage produced. (Source: Australian Tree Nut Industry)
Specific considerations for tree nuts
High yielding nut orchards have an ongoing demand for nutrients and water. Light well drained soils with good fertility are required for orchards.
Soil fertility comprises a number of parameters including soil chemistry, structure and biology. By addressing all aspects of soil fertility orchards are better able to reach their yield and quality potential.
Establishing a nutrition program that provides required macro and micro-nutrients but avoids excesses is important for highly productive orchards. Phosphorus (P) is important for transfer of energy (carbohydrates and nutrients) within the tree, and ensuring access to phosphorus throughout the growing season will aid higher yields and quality. A BioAg program looks to supply P in a sustained release form as well as fertigated or foliar applications to support critical growth phases. Supply of P in a sustained release form minimises losses or lock up in soils and ensures continual supply of P rather than peaks and troughs of supply that can occur when P is only supplied in immediately available forms.
Post harvest is a critical period for orchards. Trees look to recover and build energy and nutrient reserves prior to dormancy and in preparation for the next season. Applications of post harvest nutrients (correcting any deficiencies) and biostimulants are a key part of a BioAg program, improving nutrient access and uptake during this important recovery phase.
A BioAg program looks to improve soil conditions so as to improve nutrient delivery, reduce nutrient loss pathways and improve soil structure and properties improving parameters such as infiltration and water holding capacity and aiding orchard resilience to abiotic stresses.