Aiming to be at the forefront of new developments in citrus production related science and technology Firstfruits provides the following Consultation Services to optimize yield and quality. For more information view contact us to request a consultation.
Irrigation has the biggest impact on tree performance and therefore production of quality citrus fruit. Firstfruits investigates and consults on irrigation scheduling as a key production practice and has partnered with Irricheck Irrigation who provides specialised irrigation equipment, software and advice.
Second to irrigation, crop nutrition is the most important production practice to attain high yields of quality fruit. Firstfruits Consulting specialises in citrus crop nutrition as required by each individual citrus cultivar. Successful strategies have been developed for all cultivars including the ones that are prone to excessive alternate bearing and ones that set fruit with difficulty. Firstfruits Consulting is the leading citrus nutrition expert in the SA citrus industry.
Differential Soil Amelioration
This precision farming service ensures that cost effective, optimised amelioration takes place within orchards, delivering only what is needed where it is needed. Ameliorants include dolomitic and calcitic lime, gypsum, double super phosphate, magnesium oxide and in some cases potassium.
Crop Load Manipulations
The effective use of chemical fruit set and thinning plant growth regulators is essential for successful production of quality fruit of a good size for many citrus cultivars. Consultants from Firstfruits visit orchards at critical periods during the crop stage to determine the best set and thinning strategies for each orchard.
Fruit Peel Quality Improvement
Fruit peel quality is improved through the use of plant growth regulators, irrigation strategies and crop nutrition.
Root Health Assessment
Root health assessments are done to identify limitations to optimal production. Recommendations are made to address root health issues.
New Orchard Development
Soil classification and mapping using GIS software ensures effective planning of new citrus orchards. A comprehensive new orchard development report is provided with each assessment. The aim of soil classification and planning of new orchards is to address physical, chemical, biological and morphological limitations in order to establish a favourable root environment. There is only one opportunity to address these limitations, thereafter they will have to be managed for the lifespan of the orchard.
Pruning strategies vary between cultivars and are essential for the production of quality fruit. Effective, timeous pruning actions reduce alternate bearing, increases fruit set and fruit size, improves fruit quality, reduces post harvest decay and optimises the application of crop protection remedies.
The focus of crop protection is to ensure that the crop is protected against various pests and diseases throughout the season. Programmes are built farm and crop specific, taking into account pests and diseases as well as historic events for the area. Crop protection programmes focus on protecting the fruit optimally, but in an economical way, incorporating integrated pest management (IPM) strategies and limiting residues to access discerning markets.