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: 10 April 2019

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