Cherry growing advisor Earnscy Weaver has been conferring with American horticulturalist Dr Matt Whiting about UFOs. We’re not talking about flying saucers, but a new technology that could be introduced to New Zealand.

The Upright Fruiting Offshoot system and many variations of it, such as FOPS – the Future Orchard Production System – are now being used across many new cherry orchards where planar (two-dimensional) canopies are the way forward. Earnscy has become an experienced advisor on the topic and helped many orchardists plant the UFO system, including close to home in Central Otago and in the Marlborough area.

Although in its infancy, Australian and New Zealand apple growers have already had success with this technology. However, the Australians have taken the UFO another step, introducing the V-shaped UFO model.