Intensive pear-growing formats can more than triple yield, says East Malling

The Concept Pear Orchard - image:East Malling Limited
The Concept Pear Orchard - image:East Malling Limited

This season's harvest from East Malling's Concept Pear Orchard appears to confirm the greatly superior yields achievable from novel Dutch-style growing formats.

The Kent trial site, the result of a collaboration between East Malling Limited, Sainsbury's and Chingford Fruit, grows Conference pears using four different systems, employing a range of spacing, training and fertigation.

These have given a range of yields this year, all well ahead of the national average of 14 tonnes per hectare, specifically:

  • V-system: 54.4 t/ha
  • Double-head system: 51.2 t/ha
  • Run-through system:  46.4 t/ha
  • Conventional English system: 38.4 t/ha

East Malling commercial farm manager Graham Caspell said: "The season started poorly, so we’ve been very pleasantly surprised by the orchard’s results."

He added: "The results reinforce the already strong case for investing in intensive pear production and adopting these growing techniques."

Chingford Fruit technical manager Francis Wheatley said: "Not only is the orchard significantly ahead of the industry standard in terms of the volume of the crop, it is successfully producing a commercial crop several years before a traditionally planted Conference pear orchard."

The orchard was only planted in 2008-09, but by 2011 was yielding 22 t/ha, in sharp contrast to the 10-plus years needed for a conventional orchard to reach commercial yields.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Tractors: market roundup

Tractors: market roundup

Manufacturers are working to provide solutions to many challenges. Sally Drury looks at their newest models.

What does the Agriculture Bill mean for growers?

What does the Agriculture Bill mean for growers?

The publication of the Agriculture Bill this week formally kick-starts the Government's plans to implement a "green Brexit" for farming, the area of the economy most impacted by the UK's withdrawal from the EU from next March.

How might the Government's no-deal Brexit plans affect growers?

How might the Government's no-deal Brexit plans affect growers?

The Government maintains that a no-deal Brexit "remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome". But it has begun publishing a series of "technical notices" intended to explain the consequences for all parts of the economy should no deal be agreed with the EU by March next year.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +

Horticulture Week Top UK FRUIT PRODUCERS

See our exclusive RANKING of UK Fruit Producers by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production
 

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon