Friday, 29 January 2021 11:25

Hard graft pays off

Written by 
Around 20 hectares of T&G Global's mandarin orchards in Northland have transformed to a later season variety over the past two years. Around 20 hectares of T&G Global's mandarin orchards in Northland have transformed to a later season variety over the past two years.

Around 20 hectares of T&G Global’s mandarin orchards in Northland have transformed to a later-season variety over the past two years – via a dose of kiwi ingenuity and clever grafting.

Graft wood from mature trees in 2018 and 2019 was collected and embedded onto 24,000 freshly cut stumps of rootstock, which were previously Satsuma mandarins. In total, T&G Global has converted about 20 hectares of mandarins in Kerikeri to Afourer – 11ha two years ago and 9ha in 2019.

The company says the new mandarins are now showing excellent growth only two years after planting, with the first 10ha now bearing fruit.

“It was a massive project which had significant risks, so we’re very pleased to see this exciting new late-season variety taking off,” explains T&G’s Tom Chamberlain.

“Two years ago, these trees were Satsuma mandarins and now they’re producing Afourer mandarins.”

Chamberlain says growing new trees would usually take years to bear fruit, but by using this grafting process it has enabled the tree to fruit over a shorter period of time – rather than replanting with young plants.

“I’m super excited and pleased about it as it was a big risk. It looks like the gamble will pay off.”

He says the later season Afourer variety has a bright orange colour and excellent flavour.

Because the variety is harvested after the Satsuma season, the company can get mandarins in NZ households for longer.

Chamberlain adds that it’s also opened up an export opportunity for the company with strong demand for citrus coming from consumers in Hong Kong and Japan.

“We couldn’t get the volumes they demanded to those export markets this season, so we’re excited about this extended window. It’s also a fruit that travels well to export markets.”

More like this

New apple proves to be hot item

The first apple to be commercially released from the Hot Climate Programme is receiving rave reviews from growers in Italy, France and the UK, according to horticultural company T&G.

Rivals cozy-up

Former rivals Zespri and T&G have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together.

National

Māori horticulture booming

A new report estimates the gross output of Māori horticulture in New Zealand is around $220 million per year.

New apple proves to be hot item

The first apple to be commercially released from the Hot Climate Programme is receiving rave reviews from growers in Italy,…

Machinery & Products

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Great idea

OPINION: Your old mate has long argued Landcorp’s farming business – Pamu – is a bigger dog than he is.

Unemployable?

OPINION: Your canine crusader shakes his head at the complete lack of practical and real-world knowledge in both government and…

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter