A Smooth navel rind project is being coordinated by NSW Department of Primary Industries and all members of industry are encouraged to participate.
The project, which starts in February 2016, aims to identify practices that produce smoother rinds under local conditions. Crop load and nutrition are known to be the major contributors. This is discussed in the article, 'The causes of rough rind texture?'.
The project aims to further refine knowledge for Australian conditions by improving our understanding on the optimum crop load levels and nutrient application rates for smoother rinds.
Participating growers will need to undertake a leaf analysis in early March to provide an indication of the nutritional status of their trees. The project will then host a nutrition management course that will discuss best management nutrition practices and provide an overview of the leaf analysis survey results.
Growers provide data on block details such as tree age, scion, rootstock, planting density, nutrient application, size, yield and pack out. The department will seek packers to collaborate on assessing the level of rind coarseness and developing a chart for project participants to use for scoring rind coarseness.
The project is proposed to run for at least two years to capture seasonal differences. A bulk leaf analysis deal and sponsorship is currently being negotiated to provide participants with discounted leaf analysis costs.
All industry members are invited to participate including product and service providers and packers to help promote the project and identify potential growers. The department particularly wants to include growers that have blocks producing fruit with smooth rinds.