D Sutton Kiwifruit Orchardist | Tri-D25, Biomin Calcium, K-Forte, Bio Size

Phenomenal flowering and saved application costs with Tri-D25

We purchased our Kiwifruit orchard in Te Puke about eight years ago. I was told that because of its location, (being frost-prone and low lying) we would struggle to grow fruit to the ever-increasing taste expectations the markets dictated. The former owner even admitted that the orchard had performed poorly in terms of numbers. We began by clearing out all unnecessary shelters, created a central drain in the orchard, and over time we replaced every end assembly.

All pergola timber was renewed and cable ends installed and water frost protection was installed just over two seasons ago. We were unhappy with the health of the orchard. Areas I discovered had over forty per cent Armillaria infected plants per block! I had tried sluicing to no avail and heard of a company that could inject Trichoderma into the soil, when I spoke to the guy he advised me that there are many different strains of which I then investigated and settled on a product called TRI-D25.

This was applied after picking in April, and at bud burst that year we were astounded at the comeback in the flowering and the health of the orchard, but not knowing enough at the time, I thought nothing more about it.

We had a good year for the orchard which was just under a hundred bins per hectare. The following year I did not reapply TRI-D25, and upon budburst was faced with some sad looking plants, that even then I could see they would not carry fruit well, bad year? Yes.

The following season when I applied to have my orchard injected with TRI-D25 I was informed by the contractor that they now only used one brand of Trichoderma, and as it was not the one I had used previously with good efficacy I was reluctant to possibly waste my money. A friend advised me I could get TRI-D25 from Fruitfed Supplies. I then contacted the New Zealand distributors, Roots Shoots and Fruits Ltd who told me to activate TRI-D25 first before application, so I mixed it in a thousand-litre tank with a pack of Arcadian Seaweed and let it sit for about six hours in the sun. Then I ran my frost protection sprinklers and venturied the thousand-litre tank over the orchard with about fifteen thousand litre of water. Upon bud burst we were delighted and had a much better year, also saving ourselves a considerable sum of money in application costs! I researched more on these products and found the principles of foliar feeding and nutrition to enhance plant production and health.

This season we applied a foliar calcium product called Biomin Calcium, and some of the other foliar products along with a sizing agent called Bio-Size plus as well as an extra kg of TRI-D25. As you can see in the photo, our flowering was phenomenal at around 95 per sqm, this year we have picked one hundred and twenty-nine bins per hectare of export fruit.

The fruit was picked earlier than last year even though we Hi-caned three weeks later!
Biomin Calcium and K-Forte obviously raised the dry matter levels as this was up significantly on last or any previous year! We do not girdle for dry matter. We feel this is an excellent result in this climate and we do not hesitate to recommend these products from JH Biotech Inc and the excellent customer service from the people at Roots Shoots & Fruits Ltd.

D.W. & G.J. Sutton Te Puke

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