Citrus farmers in Sunraysia are thinking outside the box by using international production trends to increase their markets and fast-track production by a year.

With new growing techniques such as ‘tree branch bending’ being implemented, it has allowed larger production methods to meet supplier demands for mandarins.

Citrus grower Toby Hederics manages a farm at Belah Heights near Mildura, and recently went on a research study in Spain to learn new techniques to bring back to the region.

He said tree branch bending was one of the better ways international markets had increased production methods, something he remained confident could be effective in Australian industries.

Pegs hold down strings pulled down from branches of a citrus tree.
The branches are bent to a 90 degree angle with puppet-like strings held down by pegs. The method allows the tree to produce more fruit than standard vertical growth.

“If this turns out it works, we’ll implement it across the whole farm,” he said.

“For us it is a trial … we know it already works and we’re not the first ones doing it; it’s more of a honed-in technique.”