As a part of the Apple and Pear IPDM project, Case Study Orchards from each state are documenting their journey implementing IPDM. Each grower is working with their advisor or an expert associated with this project to implement an IPDM plan and document their progress. Case Study Orchards will post regular updates so others can follow what has been implemented and learn from the outcomes.
Orchardist: John Evans
Location: Geeveston, Tasmania
Background : John is the 6th generation of orchardists. He is a sole operator of the 40 ha orchard, with 25 ha under production and the rest being new plantings. By 2023 the majority of the orchard will have been planted at 0.7m X 3.5m
Orchardist: Michael, Jeremy and Sue Smart
Location: Batlow, NSW.
Size of orchard and type of fruit produced: The orchard is approximately 30 hectares in size and is solely comprised of apples. The orchard is one of Batlow’s highest in elevation and generally receives cool late-Summer and Early Autumn night temperatures helping to ensure good colour development.The Smarts store, pack and distribute through Batlow Apples, predominantly to Sydney and other major Eastern seaboard markets and retailers.
IPDM journey / philosophy: Michael’s IPM journey commenced around 30 years ago in the late 1980’s and early 90’s when he participated in some of the first predatory mite seedings conducted by the late Dr Les Readshaw (CSIRO) and the late Robert McLeod (Batlow Fruit Co-op). Michael was also one of the grower collaborators on a 5 year Apple IPDM research and extension project conducted in the district by Dr Colin Bower, Dr Les Penrose and Kevin Dodds of NSW Agriculture from 1990-1995. Michael’s son Jeremy recently returned to the family orchard and is now actively engaged in this current IPDM project as a case study orchardist.
Orchardist: David and Sue Finger
Location: Launching Place, Yarra Valley, VIC
Size of orchard and type of fruit produced: The Fingers are 6th generation orchardists who have been in their present location for 60 years. The 25ha apple orchard focuses on club varieties including Jazz, Smitten, Ambrosia and Envy with all fruit supplied to Montague Fresh. Although located in the Yarra Valley, condition can be deceptively hot and dry across summer and autumn with reliance on drip irrigation. A large proportion of the orchard is netted.
IPDM journey / philosophy : The Fingers have been doing IPDM at various levels for 40 years. David has always been interested in IPDM as management strategy, and is keen to use methods such as predators while also balancing the demands of achieving high pack outs as a commercial orchard. The Fingers have their own weather station and like to use as much technology as possible such as BOM data and disease modelling. The orchard is not surrounded by other orchards so provides a good environment for implementing IPDM without pests coming in from neighbours.
Location: Nannup, WA
Background: Mark has been orcharding since 1992 and is running Nannup Fresh Fruit. He contributed to the original WA IPDM manual by Martine Combert. The orchard is 20ha – 8ha apples and pears, 10ha stone fruit, 2 ha of mixed.
Orchardist: Terry Martella (B Martella & Sons)
Location: Kirip, WA
Background: Have used scouting for years, dating back to original IPM course delivered by WA dept. Terry is a 2nd generation orchardist, and works with his brother Joe and sons Basil and Mark. The business runs a 35ha intensive orchard that is all trellised and planted at 3m x 1m, and 30% is fully netted. The crop consists of apples, plums, cherries, and some pears. They grow, pick, and store but packing is contracted out.
Orchardist: Daniel Nicoletti
Location: Pozieres, near Stanthorpe Qld
Background : Daniel is a third generation orchardist. The business is a collaboration between Daniel, his partner Toni, and Daniel’s parents. The orchard is 40 ha, with about 95% being apples (Gala, Granny Smith, and Pink Lady) and the remaining 5% stone fruit. Most of the fruit is sold into the domestic fresh fruit market.
The Nicoletti’s use the services of Elders agronomist and pest scout, Andrew Hennoste, for monitoring and advice. Andrew’s perspective on IPDM in the region can be found here:
Orchardist: Joe Ceravolo
Location: Adelaide Hills, SA
Background: Joe is a 4th generation orchardist in a family business with his parents and brother Tony, who looks after marketing and the juicing plant. They operate from 7 properties with crops including apples, pears, cherries, strawberries and a juicing plant. They have about 120 ha of apples but this varies as unproductive or unprofitable varieties are dropped and replaced with new ones.
Orchardist: Kym Green
Location: Lenswood, Adelaide Hills, SA
Background: The family business involves 12.5 ha apples and cherries. Kym is a 5th generation farmer in partnership with brother Peter. They grow club varieties that are distributed through cooperative and through Ceravolo. Kym started using IPM in 1980, beginning with mites.
Mark Staniford works for EE Muirs as an agronomist in the Adelaide Hills. Mark’s perspective on IPDM in the region can be found here: