About the Factree Cultivar Evaluation Project

The Evaluations

Varieties are subjected to two types of evaluations. Initially varieties are planted into a Primary Site where they are subjected to a ‘Stage 1’ or preliminary evaluation to determine if the fruit has any commercial potential. The principal then being that those varieties that do show some promise can then be selected and planted into the Regional Secondary

Sites for ‘Stage 2’ evaluation which encompasses more detailed evaluation criteria.

At the Primary sites, once the Primary evaluation has determined that the variety may have commercial potential a ‘Stage 2’ evaluations is then completed.

Many of the ‘Stage 1’ evaluations have been carried out on second leaf trees and an accurate performance of these ‘Stage 1’ varieties will not be available until the following season. Due to this reason, the varieties reported with ‘Stage 1’ evaluations have not been given an overall field score. Consideration to the age of the trees and the limited amount of fruit available needs to be given when reviewing the evaluation data on the ‘Stage 1’ varieties.

The Score

It is recognised by the Project Team that evaluations can be considered subjective and in order to help mitigate this issue an overall score has been incorporated to grade the different characteristics of the variety. To provide readers with the ability to interpret the overall scores the following ‘definition’ is provided which is only relevant regarding ‘Stage 2’ evaluations:

less than 6/10 it is not recommended to commercialise the variety
6/10 = variety displays some promise although some negative attributes need further consideration
7/10 = variety is equal to the current commercial variety available to growers
8/10 and above = variety is very good and should be further evaluated by individual growers to see if it meets their needs.

Regardless of the information provided it is critical that growers understand the importance of testing a variety independently. Ensuring the variety will perform well in their respective growing conditions and fits within an existing or potential marketing program are all aspects of variety selection that Graham’s Factree encourages every grower to give serious consideration to when reviewing a variety for commercial planting.