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After pruning, kiwifruit orchards move to their next key event in the calendar – the application of budbreak enhancers. Like many deciduous fruiting crops, when the plants go into dormancy and lose their leaves, they need a period of chilling so that they can produce more flowers and fruit in the spring. Because kiwifruit in New Zealand is predominantly grown in temperate climates, the vines do not receive sufficient chilling to achieve economic crop loads.

The most common method to overcome the lack of chilling is to apply hydrogen cyanamide in winter. But the use of hydrogen cyanamide is being reassessed by the Environmental Protection Authority in New Zealand, with a proposed ban within 10 years. This faces the kiwifruit industry with a dilemma because it’s so important to grower profitability.

Zespri needed a project managed that encompassed 22 different growers trialing a new bud-breaker on their orchard. It’s a project looking at an alternative option and how effective it is. In collaboration with another experienced research provider and several casual staff, we’ve undertaken the task of supporting the growers, understanding, and explaining the application method and collecting the right data to provide results that will support continued grower understanding of these products and how to grow without hydrogen cyanamide. Stakeholder engagement, testing the science and communication and extension are critical elements of this project. 



Southern Cross Horticulture is an innovative and high performance kiwifruit management, construction and nursery business. They came to me seeking advice regarding a relatively new variety of kiwifruit – Red19. They were wanting to understand the recent research around girdling and fruit sizing products, so that they could try a few different things on their orchards to come up with the best recipe for sizing Red19.

I knew there was some recent research we could dive into on the timing, number of applications, etc. So, I set about reviewing the research, putting together a summary, and talking them through how they could use this knowledge to try a few different things on-orchard. I also offered technical advice to ensure trials were set up the right way, creating reliable data. 

Whatever project, problem, or goal you are trying to achieve, get me involved in the discussion.  

Tayah Ryan has worked on a number of high-value projects for Southern Cross Horticulture over the past 4 years. She brings solid technical kiwifruit experience and has a natural flair for strategic thinking on complex projects. Tayah brings structure and attention to detail to anything she’s involved in – I would highly recommend her to anyone seeking this type of expertise.."

Andrew Dunstan, Director, Southern Cross Horticulture

Whatever project, problem, or goal you are trying to achieve, get me involved in the discussion. Let’s ensure we deliver the best possible outcome.

Phone me, Tayah, on 027-487-7125 or email to get Lighthouse Horticulture right behind you.
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