Assessing new grape varieties in Central Australia
As plants don't celebrate Christmas, DPIR’s Sarah Tsai, Research Horticulturalist and Glen Oliver, Technical Officer spent much of the festive season harvesting and assessing new seedless grape varieties planted at the Arid Zone Research Institute (AZRI).
The trial is part of a nationwide assessment of table grape selections that have been developed in Australia – the goal being to discover new varieties that may be superior in quality, yield, ease of cultivation or harvest timing characteristics.
As part of annual assessments, Glen and Sarah examined fruit for characteristics including seedlessness, colour, sweetness, berry and bunch characteristics and yield.
Selection and commercialisation of new varieties will benefit the entire grape industry. Central Australia is well positioned with some of the first Australian grown grapes to reach the market, but improved and locally adapted green, red and black varieties that extended the Central Australian season could lower risks and provide additional income streams. This will give local growers the option of offering longer employment for harvest workers.
Newly developed Australian varieties adapted to local conditions will also enable the industry to differentiate its products in international markets, enhance export opportunity and increase domestic consumption.
Last updated: 23 September 2019