Wednesday, 09 December 2020 11:30

Partnership to produce distinctive summerfruits

Written by  Staff Reporters
Ardgour Valley Orchards will produce specialty apricots bred for New Zealand conditions. Ardgour Valley Orchards will produce specialty apricots bred for New Zealand conditions.

New Zealand horticultural specialist Hortinvest and Ardgour Station have established a limited partnership to produce apricots and cherries for export in early 2023.

The two companies have called the partnership Ardgour Valley Orchards Limited Partnership (AVO).

Orchard and project manager Ross Kirk says AVO spans 38 hectares within Ardgour Station in the Tarras region of Central Otago.

Two thirds of the orchard are set aside for new apricot varieties.

The rest of the area has been allocated for red and white-fleshed cherry production.

The new apricot varieties were originally bred by Plant and Food Research at its Clyde site in Central Otago and are being commercialised for the first time.

“These new apricots were bred for New Zealand growing conditions,” said Kirk.

“It’s an opportunity to produce an outstanding flavoured fruit – it’s what a true apricot should be.”

“Cherries are a high value crop and there’s growing demand from Asia for New Zealand’s crop,” Kirk said.

He says New Zealand’s unique market position in the run up to Chinese New Year allows cherries to achieve a consistently high price.

Bruce Jolly, whose family have been breeding sheep and cattle at Ardgour Station since 1955, says he became interested in diversifying the station’s land use into horticulture after a 2000 study found much of the property was climactically suited to stonefruit.

Hortinvest was commissioned in 2016 to conduct a feasibility study to develop a portion of the land for orchards.

“Although much of the station was deemed suitable, the site chosen has the best attributes including the nature of its contours, drainage ability and that is frost-free,” Jolly said.

He adds that horticulture is one of the few sectors that allows the producer to maintain control of the product from orchard to consumer.

“It’s exciting to be producing something so sought after and special,” he said.

AVO is the latest orchard development undertaken by Hortinvest in Central Otago. Other developments include Tarras Cherry Corp which will harvest its first commercial cherries this summer.

More like this

Cherry crop takes a beating

Central Otago cherry growers have been dealt another blow, with heavy rain earlier this month causing major damage to matured fruit.

Cherry on top for station’s returns

Twelve hectares of cherry trees planted in September at Mt Pisa Station, Central Otago complete the first stage of a $15.5 million cherry project by the horticultural investment firm Hortinvest.

Cherry picking the right investment

New Zealand's horticultural sector must compete on quality, taste and branding because it will never compete globally on volume and price, says MyFarm national sales manager Grant Payton.


Merlo goes greener

Obviously not wishing to get left behind by some of its competitors, Italian manufacturer Merlo is planning to add to its green-liveried telehandler range- with another set of green credentials in the shape of an all-new, all-electric battery-powered Merlo e-Worker model.


Growing a family legacy

What started with planting some acacia trees 25 years ago has become a multi-generational passion for the Hunt family in Te Awamutu.

Moves to improve winter grazing requirements

DairyNZ says it supports recommendations to the Government from an advisory group looking to improve winter grazing rules for farmers and achieve better environmental outcomes.


Machinery & Products

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound


Your old mate reckons the nomination of the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards (NZDIA) management team as a finalists in…

Good riddance!

The Hound reckons 2021 is off to a rollicking start with news that professional whinger and anti-farming drone Martin Taylor…

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter