HortWatch - taking the guesswork out of growing

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• Fruit Size Monitoring

Fruit Size Monitoring

What is "Fruit Size Monitoring"?

As markets around the world become more particular about fruit size, successful fruit growing becomes about getting the right size fruit to the right market at the right time. Fruit price premiums result in huge financial benefits to those growers who can get it right.

HortWatch Fruit Size Monitoring tracks your fruit development throughout the season and gives you the information to predict your final fruit size, and the opportunity to adjust your management strategy.

What sort of decisions can fruit size monitoring influence?

  • Thinning strategies - hand thinning, late thinning
  • Irrigation strategy
  • Use of growth and maturity regulators
  • Selection of an exporter/marketer
These are the decisions you make that can effectively 'change the future' for your crop, and for your wallet. The sort of decisions you would rather make based on some solid information.

HortWatch fruit sizing can predict final fruit size with better than 80% accuracy as early as 70 to 80 days after full bloom.

So how does Fruit Size Monitoring work?

Our HortWatch technicians carry out on-site measurements at critical dates throughout the growing season (usually five visits spread from 45 days post full bloom to immediately prior to harvest). Digital calipers are used for accuracy and consistency.

Following each visit growers will be able to view their reports via OrchardNet, which detail block progress against:

  • Fruit size target lines to predict harvest size
  • Regional and National averages for the current and previous years
  • The grower's historical data from the same block.
Growers can also create custom reports to compare their blocks directly to each other, including average lines of combined block performances. AgFirst consultants may also add their professional opinion on the result to date and suggest management use of the information.

Optional Extras

Flowering Behaviour

Flower counts can be carried out to give the grower and consultant a quantifiable appreciation of the chemical thinning requirements of each block.

Stages, numbers and positions of flowers are taken into account.

Whole Tree Counts

To predict crop load, 'whole tree counts' are recommended. This is carried out immediately post hand thinning.


Crops and Varieties

We have strong databases available for a range of apple varieties including Royal Gala, Braeburn, Fuji, Pacific Rose.

Other varieties such as Pacific Beauty, Pacific Queen, Pink Lady and Granny Smith are also being monitored, and new varieties are being added to the database all the time.


Monitoring by our technicians is currently available in the Hawke's Bay and Nelson areas of New Zealand.

However, if you are outside this area, we also offer the option for growers to carry out their own on-site measurements and submit these to us for comparison to our database.

Want to know more?

Email Michelle at or phone (06) 872 7080 to discuss your needs.

Hortwatch® is a product of AgFirst
Phone: 64 6 872 7080
Fax:     64 6 870 3629