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Category: HELIOS

  1. Innovative Technologies and Market-Leading Agronomy Working Together – National Fruit Show 2019 Handbook – Rob Saunders, Jonathan Blackman

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    0I2A0890The Hutchinsons Enhanced Light Interception Orchard System (HELIOS) was established last spring at two sites, in East Kent and on the Herefordshire/Gloucestershire border, to examine how orchards can be cost-effectively re-designed and managed to capture more light, improve yields and allow new mechanical picking systems in future.

    Several systems for growing Gala Galaxy clones on different rootstocks are being trialled over 10 years at both sites, with detailed yield and crop grading measurements due to be taken to help identify the most cost-effective options.

  2. Investigating new orchard systems – The English Apple Man – Rob Saunders, Ivan Velasco

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    Rob SaundersThe English Apple Man met Vikram Singh Thakur (a friend) and Rob Saunders from Hutchinsons of Wisbech to view an experimental tree management system trial named HELIOS.

    After a relaxed lunch at The Haywain at Brambling we drove the few miles to Hoaden Court Farm where one of the two HELIOS trials are taking place. There we met Rob's colleague Ivan Velasco who is assisting in the HELIOS trials. The second trial site is in Herefordshire.

    Maximising light interception is the key driver for any orchard management system.

  3. Update on Helios – The Fruit Grower – Nigel Kitney

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    Nigel KitneyGiven that profit margins are tight and labour is in short supply, a “robot ready” orchard that yields almost twice as much Class I fruit and can be mechanically harvested would probably be a dream come true for the UK’s top fruit growers. Happily, crop production specialist Hutchinsons’ ground-breaking, ten-year project – named Hutchinsons’ Enhanced Light Interception Orchard System (Helios) – could help growers achieve this vision.

  4. Can Better Designed Orchards Increase Productivity? – Horticulture Week – Rob Saunders, Nigel Kitney, Nick Strelczuk

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    0C3A9750Last year, agronomy firm H L Hutchinson began its Enhanced Light Interception Orchard System (HELIOS), a 10-year project looking at how orchard design can be improved to capture more sunlight and so increase yield, while also factoring in establishment costs and likely technological developments such as robotic picking and mechanical pruning, building on work in New Zealand by Dr Stuart Tustin of the government-owned Plant & Food Research institute and putting it in a UK context.

    Last month (July 2019), Hutchinson invited growers to visit the programme’s two orchards in Herefordshire and east Kent.

  5. Touring Hutchinsons’ Enhanced Light Interception Orchard System in Kent - South East Farmer – Rob Saunders, Nigel Kitney, Mike Hutchinson

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    0I2A1028On the hottest day of the year so far, 25 July 2019, top fruit growers and industry professionals gathered at A C Hulme and Sons’ Hoaden Court in Ash, near Canterbury, to listen to specialist agronomists Rob Saunders and Nigel Kitney discuss the progress of Hutchinsons’ Enhanced Light Interception Orchard System (HELIOS) project.

    As thunderstorms brewed in the distance, the group was taken around the extensively varied experimental planting systems, which, along with another mirrored trial site in Newent, Gloucestershire, form part of the crop production specialists’ ground-breaking 10-year project in top fruit.