Warmer spring weather and an anticipated biennial bearing “on” year should ensure apple and pear production bounces back from 2011/2012’s poor growing season to record increases forecast at 5% to reach 481,000 MT and 14,200 MT for apples and pears respectively. Were it not for a hail storm and an unseasonal frost late in October in the Hawkes Bay and outbreaks of European Canker in the Nelson region the forecasts for total production could have been materially greater.
A primary objective of training and pruning is to develop a strong tree framework that will support fruit production. Improperly trained fruit trees generally have very upright branch angles, which result in serious limb breakage under a heavy fruit load. This significantly reduces the tree’s productivity and may greatly reduce its life. Another goal of annual training and pruning is to remove dead, diseased, or broken limbs.
Post estimates that the production of apples will decrease slightly in MY2012 as a result of unfavorable weather conditions and a reduction in planted area. Pear and grape production will increase slightly in MY2012. Imports are expected to remain at same 2011 levels, given lower domestic availability and a favorable exchange rate for importers.