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The Fruit Grower Magazine Articles

Enjoy a sneak peak of articles from past issues of The Fruit Grower Magazine. Subscribe now to view more articles from past and new issues.

Thinning with Brevis – a masterclass

H.L. Hutchinson Ltd recently hosted two workshops on the use of the apple and pear thinning product Brevis, one in Ledbury, Herefordshire and the other at their Canterbury, Kent depot. Rob Saunders, horticultural project manager at H.L. Hutchinson Ltd, by way of introducing the workshop, said: “You could argue that for apple growers thinning has...

May 31, 2019
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Tree-to-tree protection against apple scab

Mulching with willow woodchip may offer apple growers scope to improve their trees’ natural defences against one of the crop’s most economically important diseases. Could a mulch using the chipped wood of one tree species help to protect another from the effects of scab? That’s the hope for a ‘look-see’ trial which begins this year...

May 31, 2019
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Robotic raspberry harvesting could be a reality in five years

Raspberry growers concerned about labour availability could be using commercial robotic harvesters on farms in five to ten years. At AHDB’s recent SmartHort conference, Dr Michael Stoelen from the University of Plymouth, discussed his team’s work on soft robotics. They have built a prototype robotic arm that can pick a raspberry, without damaging it, in...

Apr 30, 2019
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Apple Powdery Mildew still needs to be taken seriously

The second most important disease of apple in the UK after scab, powdery mildew reduces yield and fruit quality on susceptible varieties. It is a problem for all cultivars and some like Cox, Jonagold and Braeburn are especially susceptible. In the growing season, although only the youngest leaves are susceptible to infection and surface water...

Mar 31, 2019
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First WineGB Viticulture Technical Conference

The first biannual Viticulture Technical Conference organised by the WineGB Viticulture Working Group (VWG), under the leadership of Stephen Skelton MW, was held at the Denbies Estate in late November. Over 150 delegates represented a wide range of vineyards across the country. The event was well-received, possibly because it allowed plenty of break-out time between...

Feb 28, 2019
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The Great Cider Debate: An Innovative Tasting

As the Austro-Bohemian composer Gustav Mahler said: “Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.” These wise words will ring true amongst today’s pioneering cidermakers, who are usingage-old traditions and heritage apple varieties to ignite an explosion of new flavours. Several of these great-tasting ciders were sampled in January at the...

Feb 28, 2019
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Restoring the natural balance for better strawberries

Moving to methods of growing soft-fruit and using products that are more environmentally friendly can, with patience, secure a more sustainable future once the natural balance has been re-established. With over 30 years of growing strawberries to look back on, Alastair Brooks of Langdon Manor Farm near Faversham, Kent, has been delighted with his farm’s...

Jan 31, 2019
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EMRA/AHDB Soft Fruit Day 2018

Timing is everything, as several speakers emphasised, and the timing of this year’s EMRA/AHDB Soft Fruit Day, at the end of a gruelling year for growers, proved to be popular as the attendance of 200 was the largest ever. The main themes were water and nutrient management and updates on pest and disease control. Spotted...

Dec 31, 2018
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Vine Harvest 2018

A near-perfect autumn following a near-perfect summer for grape growing in the UK may never happen again, but lessons learnt from 2018 will help to future-proof vineyards and wineries, should we be blessed again. Despite the green harvest that many practiced in thinning the crop, that is always done with some trepidation, many vineyards still...

Dec 31, 2018
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Easing the increasing audit burden for small producers

Industry-led approach ensures compatibility with BRC and retailer audits Smaller vegetable, fruit and flower producers still using paper-based systems are struggling to meet the ever-increasing requirements of retailers for quality assurance (QA) and traceability, says Derek Thompson, co-founder of Consus Fresh Solutions from Lincolnshire. To address this, the company has developed an intelligent software-based system...

Nov 30, 2018
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