Mango cultivation has evolved significantly over the years, with new techniques and strategies emerging to improve yield and efficiency. This blog post delves into the journey and learnings of a mango orchard project, focusing on the transition towards high-density planting and its implications.
The journey began in 2012 with an idea to start a mango orchard, leaning towards a higher density approach. However, initial research revealed a scarcity of comprehensive information on high-density plantings. It wasn't until 2016 that land acquisition allowed for the project's commencement.
A pivotal moment came with the discovery of a YouTube video on ultra-high density plantation from India, which became a guiding resource. The Mango Loa project aimed to enhance Hawaii's mango industry by incorporating these high-density plantation techniques.
Starting with half an acre planted with 300 trees using the ultra-high density technique, the project initially planned for an observational trip to India. However, plans shifted towards integrating the Open Tatura Trellis system from Australia, comparing it with the initial high-density approach.
The ultra high-density system, slightly larger than half an acre, aimed for a density of around 550 trees per acre. This technique showed potential for significantly higher yields compared to conventional orcharding.
This system, initially developed for temperate zone fruits, was adapted for tropical fruits in Australia. It offers improved light interception, potentially leading to higher and earlier production and easier orchard management.
With the new systems, the orchard showed promise for substantially higher yields. For instance, the ultra high-density field, in its third year, was entering its expected production years.
The main challenge noted was the high cost of establishing the orchard, including the number of trees required and the trellis material. Additionally, the trellis structures require maintenance, and the high-density techniques demand a complete shift in orchard management norms.
The project underscored the importance of soil and tissue analysis for tailored fertilization, the significance of choosing the right mango varieties for specific climates, and the potential of various organic and inorganic fertilizers and fungicides.
The Mango Loa project represents a significant step forward in mango orcharding, showcasing the potential of high-density planting and modern trellising techniques. As the project continues to evolve, it offers valuable insights and lessons for mango growers worldwide. Join our discussion on YouTube