PerFrutto: a fruit growth monitoring and forecast service
Thanks to its algorithms, PerFrutto combines Information Technology and Precision Agriculture in apple and pear orchards.
Daily fruit growth rate depends on many complex relations between tree and the environment during the whole growing season. Revenue is strictly related to the average fruit size, size class distribution and total yield, but fruit growers do not have accurate estimates until after the harvest, And by then, there is nothing they can do to upgrade their yield. Furthermore, fruit growers organizations and cooperatives lack the exact information about the yield and size class distribution of fruit that must be stored in their cold rooms.
Thanks to Calibit (the digital caliper with data logger onboard), growers can now easily collect fruit diameter measurements during the season. Proprietary algorithms allow to translate these measurements into valuable information which helps the fruit grower in making important decisions with respect to the orchard management.
PerFrutto forecasts fruit development, enabling the fruit grower to improve the growth of the fruit, to maximize revenues (income +10% and more) and to optimize the utilized resources. Today’s trend is to manage irrigation based on data from a weather station, soil humidity sensors, etc. PerFrutto makes it possible to irrigate based on information about the real water need of the growing fruit. Information about the fruit growth rate can also be used to verify the need for further crop load adjustment, even late in the season. Even small variations in fruit growth rate can accumulate during the season, leading to fruit size improvement and increase of total yield.
Traditional management leaves no room for error: the only way to evaluate the decisions taken during the growing season is to wait until the harvest. PerFrutto is a tool to run many simulations, simply by altering some parameters (fruit number per tree and harvest day). This way, different possible situations, risks and benefits can be properly evaluated in order to choose the best agronomic strategies.