Tree fruit growers, industry specialists, researchers and assorted guests from around the globe traveled the length of New Zealand in February to learn how the country is growing their tree fruit industry.
In the balmy southern hemisphere summer, guests were treated to some of the must-see locations in both the South Island, where fledgling Honeycrisp blocks show promise, and the North Island, where breeders develop varieties successful in various microclimates.
For two weeks IFTA New Zealand attendees were bussed from unforgettable location to the next, bonding with each other during the sessions and in leisure activities.
Our group, clad in hi-visibility vests, were an orange herd moving through planar hi-density tree systems. A big orange dot seen from the sky in a sea of green rolling hills.
The vests, when first put on, set a tone that we were together in this long journey.
– by TJ Mullinax
Future orchard systems at the The New Zealand Plant and Food Research center. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)
2018 IFTA New Zealand attendees during a hike at Abel Tasman National Park. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)
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