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AgriiEastAutumnWinter2014Journal05ProgressupdatefromFruitiFarmatEMRHorticulturePlantinghascontinuedthisyearatAgriis1hademonstrationsiteforfruitproductionatEastMallingResearchinKent.Theapplesandpearsplantedlastyearhavebeenjoinedbycherriesplumsandthersttreesofwhatwillbeacollectionofapricotsoneofthefruitindustrysnewestcropsplusstrawberriesonraisedbeds.ItwontstoptherehoweverasAgriitechnicalsupportmanagerforfruitColinBirdwhohasoverallresponsibilityfortheprojecthasplanstoplantafurther300appletreesthisautumnplusblackcurrantsraspberriesandgooseberries.Agriitookonthesitetwoyearsagotogiveitsfruitagronomiststhechancetotestideasaboutcropmanagementandforinstancetolookattheeffectivenessofcurrentandnovelpesticidesgeneratingnewinformationthattheywillthenbeabletoshare.Andwitharangeoffruitclonesandvarietiesallonthesamesitegrowerswillgetthechancetoassessforthemselvestheearlinessprecocityandgrowthhabitofeachwhichtheycanteasilydoanywhereelse.IntheapplesandpearsalreadyplantedMrBirdistrackingtheeffectonestablishmentandrstyieldsofapplesandpearsofusingcompostorslow-releasefertiliserwhichwereusedeitherseparatelyortogetherintheplantingholewhenthersttreeswereplantedin2013.Onthisyearsplantingsheiscomparingtwodifferentmycorrhizaproductstoseeifthereisanydifferencebetweenthem.Hehasalsorunatrialonresidualherbicides.Theresidualherbicidesthatcurrentlycanbeusedareeithernotpersistentenoughorbroadenoughintherangeofweedstheytargetheexplains.Ihavelookedthisyearatoneproductwhichisknowntobebroadspectruminitsactivitybuthasnoapprovalontopfruitandatacoupleofotherswhichhavea12-monthharvestintervalsocouldbeusedinneworchards.Acomparisonoffungicidesapprovedforcontrolofeitherapplescaborpowderymildeworwhichcancontrolbothdiseasesshowedthatallwereeffective.TherehasbeenconcernamongsomegrowersthatsomeoftheseproductsdontworkaswellastheyusedtosaysMrBird.Butfromthisonetrialinoneyearitlooksliketheyarestilleffectiveeveninwhathadbeenahighpressureyearformildew.OnpearsMrBirdwantedtoseeiffruitqualitycouldbeatriskbyrepeatedspraysoftheinsecticideSiriusaphysicallyactingproductbasedonsilicon.IwastargetingpearsuckerandapplieditatfourtimestherecommendedratetoseewhatwouldhappenandithadnoadverseeffecthesaysAnotherissueMrBirdisinvestigatingisspraycoveragebylow-driftnozzles.Thereisanissueaboutgoodcoverageatwatervolumesacceptabletofruitgrowershesays.Thedemonstrationsitewillbemadeavailabletoagrochemicalmanufacturersshouldtheyneedtotestproductsunderdevelopmentondifferentfruittypesorvarieties.Itmayhelpthemcollectthedatatheyneedforregistrationofnewproductswhichwillhelpthewholefruitindustryheadds.Anyonewhohasanideafortrialsworkisinvitedtogetintouchitswhatthesiteisherefor.