Summary of PollenSmart
Pollination Trial Results
Trials were set up on 4 Eastern Bay of Plenty Hayward orchards during the 2015/2016 growing season. Within each trial 100 flowers of each treatment were tagged and were collected and weighed just prior to harvest.
The trials were designed to compare different pollen application rates and pollinators with flowers pollinated by bees only and flowers which had been perfectly pollinated (one male flower applied to a female flower). Trial fruit were picked late April to early May 2016 and the pollination success was assessed by % fruit loss, fruit weights and seed counts.
Note: Seed counts for these fruit are still underway with the help of Zespri endorsed methodology.
We have nearly completed collating the seed counts for all trial fruit but have drawn the following conclusions based on % fruit loss and the fresh weights of the trial fruit:
On an orchard with poor males and low bee activity there was a significant improvement in fruit size and yield even after one pass with the PollenSmart pollinator at 99% flowering (Two trials: 100 g pollen/ha and 300g pollen/ha pollen).
One orchard had an over-supply of male flowers and very good bee activity yet it showed that yield and average fruit weights improved when pollinated with PollenSmart at 100 g pollen/ha and 250 g/ha. Both these PollenSmart application rates achieved the average fruit weight of perfectly pollinated flowers.
Pollination with the PollenSmart pollinator resulted in higher average fruit weight than when pollen was applied with a hand blower (both trials at 250 g pollen/ha).
Where Psa caused bud rot in males flowers, three PollenSmart pollen applications of 120 g/ha resulted in a higher average fruit weight than ‘perfect pollination’ (where the orchard’s own male flowers were used to pollinate the female flowers).
Three applications of 120 g pollen/ha resulted in higher average fruit weights and improved yield than two applications of 300 g pollen/ha.
Pollen is very expensive and therefore it makes sense to be as least wasteful as possible when artificially pollinating.
The PollenSmart pollinator has multiple pollen blowers. ‘Unused’ pollen is drawn back into the pollinator to be re-blown hence decreasing pollen wastage.
To create the tables below, we have taken into account % yield and the average fruit weights for each treatment and then standardised the crop volumes to a hypothetical 50 flowers/m² . The average tray weight is 3.51 kg and allowing a 4% reject rate, we have calculated the trays/m². The OGR calculation is based on $5.00 per tray.
"User friendly and efficient application method.
2 applications increased the fresh weight by 33% over 1 application.
5 applications gave an equivalent result to hand pollination"