A Tatura East orchard has successfully completed a trial that saw 12,000 trees planted – including six new cherry varieties – in a high-density, weather-resistant environment.

The $775,000 trial at Turnbull Brothers Orchards was made possible with $327,000 of Federal Government funding via its $222 million Regional Jobs and Investment Package.

Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum (pictured above with Chris Turnbull), said the project involved the construction of an innovative, ultra-high density cherry orchard that provided all-weather protection, including rain and hail cover.

Mr Drum said the project also involved the installation of a newly designed trellis structure to support the orchard and maximise yield and harvest efficiency.

“Turnbull Brothers has been operating for more than 125 years and over the past 15 years it has been researching national and international best-practice growing techniques, identifying profitable tree varieties and, literally, growing new markets,” Mr Drum said.

“This project was in response to that research and the impacts of severe weather patterns, given the susceptibility of cherries to splitting.

“The new orchard has injected economic benefits to the local community with stock being purchased from local suppliers and from local farms and chemical providers. It has also provided employment opportunities within the local community for orchard staff.”

The Turnbull Brothers project was one of many funded through the Federal Government’s Regional Jobs and Investment Package. Other Goulburn Valley projects funded through the package include the new Museum of Vehicle Evolution in Kialla, stage two of the Dookie Rail Trail, and the installation of a state-of-the-art laser welding machine at Furphy Engineering.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce, said the Federal Government’s investment in job-boosting infrastructure would provide long term benefits to the region.

“With more than 125 years of operational experience, Turnbull Brothers Orchards understand the need to continually research and evolve new growing techniques, identifying profitable tree varieties and explore new markets,” Mr Joyce said.

“This investment has allowed for research into the impacts of severe weather patterns including drought, rain and hail and will ensure the future viability of the crop in Victoria.”

ENDS

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