Fertiliser is key to producing quality fruit on Sunraysia orchard
The fertiliser program implemented by the Reed family on their 110 acre citrus orchard, at Nangiloc, in the Sunraysia district of Victoria, has helped produce high quality fruit over many seasons.
Bryon Reed said they sell their fruit under the Big B Citrus brand and concentrate on high-end markets in Sydney for their oranges, lemons, grapefruit and mandarins.
He said it is important to set the crop up for success with the best inputs used throughout the season. "The fertiliser plays a major part and if you start off with a good fertiliser base, it tends to follow right through the tree."
Over a number of years, YaraMila COMPLEX has been the fertiliser of choice for the enterprise as a base product on the citrus trees. "We've been using YaraMila COMPLEX for a number of years and I'm really happy with the results," Mr Reed said.
"I put one kilo per tree and depending on how many trees to the hectare, depends on how many kilos go in a hectare, this is done to ensure good even coverage across the entire orchard."
Mr Reed said the citrus was picked at the end of the season and YaraMila COMPLEX is first applied just after the first movement of the bud.
While YaraMila COMPLEX is applied as the base fertiliser, Mr Reed said YaraLiva CALCINIT is utilised for foliar applications. "I do everything by the eye," he said. "If I see a new shoot and it is one and a half inches or two inches long there is a nice new flush, well and I hit it with a foliar spray. The tree will suck it up and grow!"
YaraLiva CALCINIT is a fully water soluble nitrogen and calcium fertiliser. "It is a good foliar spray," Mr Reed said. "A lot of people put it on; a lot of people use it to help stop albedo."
From a healthy tree to healthy fruit
The bottom line for the program is to try and produce oranges that look and taste good.
"What makes a good orange?" Mr Reed asked. "Most important, it must taste good."
"You can do the best you can. You start from how much water you put on, what fertiliser you use and how much you apply," he said. "You do that and you try to grow the best orange possible."
"You hope that when they slice the orange in half, they've got a good juicy, sweet, tasting piece of fruit."
"You must have a healthy tree to get healthy fruit. The better the tree, the better the fruit, the better the product and all you hope for at the end of it all is that you get a reasonable return for what you've spent."
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