The burgeoning local cider industry is set to benefit from a new cider apple supply block at the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Orange Agricultural Institute.
NSW DPI development officer, Kevin Dodds, said the Temperate Fruits Development team have spent the last two months grafting and planting a new cider variety scion wood supply block.
“This new block has expanded the department’s source block in Orange to include all 35 varieties of cider apples known to exist in Australia,” Mr Dodds said.
“With the new block, we have boosted our future capacity to support the development of new cider apple plantings in NSW and across Australia.”
“It will take a couple of years to grow the new trees and prune them to stimulate shoot growth for cuttings.
“Once cuttings are ready for the market, our potential output of material for new and existing cider apple growers will have significantly increased.”
Mr Dodds said it was an exciting time for apple industry development.
“Cider is creating new opportunities for existing fresh fruit growers in NSW to diversify their farm business and reap the benefits from value-added fruit products,” he said.
“The new cider scion wood block is one way we can support continued development in the cider and fruit growing industries.”
“We are already seeing the growth of small cider apple blocks, which are popping up in the traditional fresh apple growing regions.”
Growth in cider consumption over recent years and the expansion of the national craft cider industry is driving consumer demand for new and interesting flavours, which are produced when traditional cider apple varieties are used.
Researchers expect to see an expansion in the establishment of cider apple variety plantings as consumers are exposed to new craft ciders.