2018, Volume 15, Paper 2

ISSN: 1449-7875

New Red-blushed Pear to Boost Grower Profitability[1]

Kerry Stott – Agriculture Victoria Research, Department of Economic Development Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR), Centre for AgriBioscience, 5 Ring Road, La Trobe University, Bundoora
Mark O’Connell – Agriculture Victoria Research, DEDJTR, Tatura Centre, 255 Ferguson Rd, Tatura
Ian Goodwin – Agriculture Victoria Research, DEDJTR, Tatura Centre, 255 Ferguson Rd, Tatura
Susanna Turpin – Agriculture Victoria Research, DEDJTR, Tatura Centre, 255 Ferguson Rd, Tatura
Bill Malcolm – Department of Agriculture and Food Systems, University of Melbourne, Parkville.

[1] This project has been funded by Hort Innovation, using the Hort Innovation apple and pear research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government with co-investment from DEDJTR. Thanks also to the following: David Cornwall, Dave Haberfield, Wendy Sessions and Lexie McClymont of AVR; Jason Shields of Plunkett Orchards, Ardmona; Angus Crawford of APAL; and the two referees, Rachel Elkins and Masood Azeem.


A discounted net cash flow (NCF) model incorporating Monte Carlo simulation was developed to quantify the net benefits and risks of growing the new red-blushed pear cultivar ‘ANP-0131’ (Deliza®) on a representative orchard block in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley. Results were compared to those for retaining a traditional low-density (343 trees/ha) planting of ‘Packham’s Triumph’. ‘ANP-0131’ was grafted to Quince A rootstock and trained on Open Tatura trellis at densities of 1,481, 2,222 or 4,444 trees/ha; these are three of the training system x rootstocks x tree spacing combinations currently being investigated at Agriculture Victoria’s experimental orchard in Tatura. The trees in the experimental orchard are currently in their fifth year of a potential life-span of 30 years and have been fruiting for the last three years. Hence, the analysis is prospective and based on crucial assumptions concerning pack-outs, prices and yields. From 10,000 simulations it was found that growers could invest in the new ‘ANP-0131’ pear system with confidence. Subject to the law of diminishing returns, the most profitable planting was 2,222 trees/ha, for which the mean Net Present Value (NPV) was $258,471/ha evaluated over 30 years using a discount rate of 4.5% real. The Modified Internal Rate of Return (MIRR) was 10.9 per cent, beating the real nine per cent return on Australian equities. The payback period ranged from 7 to 11 years from best to worst case scenarios. The relative advantage of the new planting over the existing planting of ‘Packham’s Triumph’ was clear; the mean annuity of the NPV for the new planting was $15,835/ha p.a., the NCF for the existing planting was a modest $4,595/ha p.a. and there was a 20 per cent chance that it would lose money in any one year.

Key words: Red-blushed pear, ‘ANP-0131’, Deliza®, Open Tatura, high density systems, orchard economics.

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