Croptracker - Blog
A row of young apple trees

Over the last few weeks, we’ve taken a look at crop load management, from the basics to the scientific models behind the development of precision crop load growth calculations. While crop load management is one of the most difficult aspects of growing, it is without a doubt a critical step in planning and maximizing yield and profit. In the third installment in our series on precision crop load management, we’re highlighting some of the tools and decision aids growers can use when hand thinning in the orchard.

Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is a hot topic among growers right now as a promising tool in the fight against climate change. In many ways, agriculture is an industry uniquely positioned to make a real difference with minimal changes to existing processes. In Canada, the Federal government has committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Globally, the agricultural sector is responsible for 9% of greenhouse gas emissions, but farms and especially orchards have the potential to be used more efficiently to capture and hold carbon.

Last week we introduced the concept of crop load management. Crop load management can be a high-risk high-reward situation for growers. There exists the potential to maximize yield and quality, but there is a lack of concrete information on how. When it comes to pruning and hand thinning, many growers just “have a guy who’s been doing it for years”.

Welcome to the first part of our series on precision crop load management. Over the next few weeks, we will be taking a close look at methods and models of precision crop load management in orchards. Crop load management is a vast topic, so this week we’re starting with some of the key concepts and terms and introducing the three main methods: Pruning, Chemical Thinning, and Hand Thinning.