Pollinating kiwifruit properly is important for yield security. Insufficient pollination of kiwifruit flowers has been linked to small and misshapen fruit that is not suitable for export markets and thus reduces returns to growers. A means of efficiently pollinating kiwifruit crops was required to allow more orchards to be pollinated during the short seasonal window. Spreading the pollen as a dry powder, as opposed to being mixed in a water solution, allows for bees to collect and transfer dry pollen that didn’t landed directly on the flowers’ stigma during application.
To evenly distribute dry pollen throughout the canopy at a consistent and even rate.
QuadDuster™ is an assistive broad application kiwifruit pollination system, developed for our sister company Pollen Plus Ltd, with application services delivered by AgFirst. The CAD designed stainless steel volutes evenly distribute dry kiwifruit pollen into the flowering canopy in a very controlled way to help remove human variability and increase application efficiency. This ultimately increasing flower pollination and crop yield. The entire system is electronically controlled, metered and tracked, including pollen dispenser monitoring to ensure consistent delivery, set speed cruise control on the quad bikes, and GPS tracking to show the orchardist where the bikes have been.
There were 20 QuadDuster™ systems operating in November 2015 and they covered over 2000Ha of orchards. This is about 25% of New Zealand’s Kiwifruit industry.