Bruising can be a costly problem for growers harvesting and packing Granny Smith. As Orchard Manager at Newton Brothers Orchards at Manjimup, Darren Shipley, attests, “every bruise costs us money”.

When, four years ago, Darren first heard about the planned registration and use of AgroFresh’s Harvista in Australia, he questioned whether this new technology would do anything for bruising. He’s now very pleased he did.

“We’re now in our third year of using Harvista on our biggest Granny block, specifically to give us that extra bit of firmness to control bruising.

“We find significantly less bruising than in the blocks where Harvista is not used. On those untreated blocks more apples are thrown out. With Harvista on Grannies we are experiencing less waste in the packout where just 1 percent loss can cost about $100,000.”

At Newton Brothers Harvista is also used with Royal Gala. On one site which is a very hot block, two applications are used. As Darren reports the first application “stops the maturity dead in its tracks”, while allowing apple size and colour to advance in the following two weeks before the second application. This allowed us to strip pick this block at harvest improving the efficiency of picking and reducing the cost of every bin picked.

Where they’ve had apples averaging 60mm, after application they’ve recorded an extra 6mm. “We got out of jail on that one, otherwise we would have been looking at smaller Gala.”

In another block the use of Harvista has seen sizes increases from 66mm’s to 70. “It’s all money in the bank.”

“Initially we were quite sceptical about what Harvista might do, but then saw the results and thought ‘bloody hell’. It works really well, giving us bigger fruit and better colour.

For Darren Harvista is also a time-management tool. Harvesting is not as rushed and they can manage their picking teams better.

And his overall assessment: “Harvista has definitely worked well for us.”

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