In Carnarvon and Kununurra, jackfruit is being used as a model tree crop due to its versatility, its ability to produce a high volume of fruit and grow in a range of climates across northern Australia.
In a three-year long project, scientists from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will look into minimizing crop damage by tropical cyclones by using seedlings, cuttings, and grafted trees planted close together using both free-standing and supported (trellis) arrangements.
New project on resilience & profitability of high-density orchards
Across Northern Australia, traditional low-density horticultural production systems continue to be highly susceptible to tropical cyclones leading to not only stagnated sectoral growth but missed economic opportunities.
As part of a new CRCNA research collaboration, a range of high-density production systems and trellis planting systems will be assessed for not only their cyclone resilience but also their production capacity and profitability.
Colloquially termed the ‘next generation system’, high-density orchards provide growers with a production system that can manage cyclone risks whilst simultaneously creating a resilient and prosperous horticulture sector. Under the project, trial sites have been established across multiple locations including Carnarvon and Kununurra in Western Australia, Darwin in the Northern Territory, and Bellenden Ker, Atherton, Mutchilba and Giru in Queensland.
The demonstration sites represent the broad range of climatic conditions applicable to northern Australia from the monsoonal tropics in Western Australia and Northern Territory to the wet tropics and dry tropics in Queensland.