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Mark

Mark SALTER

Year of Award: 2004 Award State: Tasmania Agriculture > Horticulture
To study the technology used for out-of-season raspberry production, particularly methods using various types of growing medium and nutrient requirements for greenhouse raspberry production - USA, Belgium, U.K.
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I generally found that greenhouse production in the USA was still in its early stages of development, with reasonably small farms commercialising research carried out by Cornell University, New York State. Most of the production was carried out in hoop houses or tunnels.

The main production areas in England were in the southeast – in particular, Kent, where raspberry production mainly occurred in Spanish tunnels with canes planted in the ground. There were also a number of greenhouse producers – one in particular growing in a seven- acre glasshouse complex, with further expansion planned.

I also visited the Scottish Crop Research Institute at Invergowrie, where techniques for year-round soft fruit production were discussed.

Belgium was the highlight of the trip, with most raspberry production occurring in greenhouses. At the time of my trip, Belgium had the most advanced growing techniques, and is still regarded as a leader in that field.

Some of my findings include:

  • Using only the best quality planting material available
  • Careful monitoring of irrigation
  • Careful selection of varieties. 

On returning from my Churchill Fellowship travels I was involved in a 5,000 m2 greenhouse project, growing some 10,000 raspberry canes in pots and producing roughly 8,000 kg of fruit for the out-of-season domestic market.

During this period a number of trials were carried out in conjunction with the Department of Primary Industries, using several varieties and growing methods.

In more recent years, I have been involved in managing a large stone fruit orchard in the Derwent Valley, growing cherries for the domestic and overseas markets.

I am also currently conducting a number of varietal and production trials on my own property, involving raspberries and blackberries, both in tunnels and outdoors.

For relaxation I enjoy water activities such as scuba-diving and boating. I have a Triumph Tiger 1050 motor-cycle and enjoy weekend rides. Most importantly, I enjoy spending time with my family. 

Excerpt from “Bringing Knowledge Home” published by the Churchill Fellows Association of Tasmania (2016) 

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