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Surround sunburn protection from AgNova Technologies

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article image Infrared photography showing a Surround Crop Protectant treated apple on the left and untreated apple on the right. Orange/red indicates the hottest area

A recent grower-conducted trial has demonstrated that applying Surround Crop Protectant from AgNova Technologies on produce can dramatically improve grower returns.

John Corboy of Corboy’s Orchard near Merrigum in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley operates a 350 hectare orchard, producing premium quality apples, 
pears and stone fruit in one of the hottest pome fruit growing areas in Australia, where loss from sunburn can sometimes exceed 30%. 

With the gradual yet significant rise in quality standards demanded from customers, particularly supermarkets, over the last 10 years, growers can not afford to pass on sunburn protection for their produce. 
 
Mr Corboy instigated his own grower-conducted trial last summer on over 30,000 trees in his orchard to compare the performance of Surround Crop Protectant and a liquid, calcium based sunscreen.

“The differences were quite significant," Mr Corboy noted.

“Surround was the clear winner, coming out with a net return over $3880 per hectare in front of the liquid, calcium based sunscreen product . There are not many inputs that a grower can utilize that will generate that sort of return.”
 
The type of sunburn protection chosen aside, application is of equal importance and Mr Corboy’s orchard has seen changes in this in recent years with the modification to existing air blast sprayers.

“Commonsense tells you that sunburn occurs on the fruit that is exposed to the sun. Our workshop staff made up an extension to our air blast sprayer so that the nozzles and air stream sprayed from above tree height. This coats the top of the fruit protecting it from sunburn.

"With Surround it is very visual, you can see where your sprayer is putting it,” said Mr Corboy.
 
Mr Corboy can stand behind his research in saying that Surround Crop Protectant is good insurance for the orchard to ensure that fruit is grown to suit the increasingly high standards required by customers and therefore making the difference between profit and loss. He concludes his recommendation, however, with the advice to do what he did and trial Surround Crop Protectant alongside alternative sunburn protection products.

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