Apples & Pears

Tasmania’s apple industry is comprised of 40 apple growing families, producing approximately 30,000 tonnes annually. Tasmanian apples are exported to over twenty countries accounting for up to 65% of total Australian apple exports. Apple growers pay a levy on the fruit they produce to support research and development as well as marketing activities

The Perennial Horticulture Center manages the Productivity, Irrigation, Pests and Soils (‘PIPS’) program, which is the flagship crop productivity research program of Apple and Pear Australia Limited. The PIPS program is funded by Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL), leveraged from state agencies (through collaboration with Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, Queensland and Department of Primary Industries, Victoria as well as TIA co-investment) and an alliance with Plant and Food Research, New Zealand.

This project combines research into orchard design and tree structure, soil nutrition and irrigation and optimising pest management and benefits greatly from the collaboration and skill set from many research groups around Australia. The program aims to provide integrated research, development and extension to support increased efficiency within the apple and pear orchard, while providing orchardists with the tools to assist the long term sustainability of their orchards. 

The major objectives include:

  • Effective and efficient management to ensure synergies within a truly integrated national PIPS program.
  • Facilitate strategic level advice on program resource allocation and direction
  • Leverage of resources to provide additional capacity in targeted research for industry.

Under the PIPS banner there are five research projects, led by various state and private organisations.

  1. Tree Structure Project
  2. Integrated Pest Management and Disease Project
  3. Soils, Water and Nutrient Project
  4. Precision Fertigation Project
  5. Intensive Pear Production Project

For further information please 

Dr. Nigel Swarts, Research Fellow, TIA

Dr. Dugald Close, TIA Perennial Horticulture Centre Leader