Profitable Stonefruit Research

Senior Research Scientist - Lead Science in Fruit and Perennial Crops

Horticulture Research & Industry Innovation, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (Western Australia)

Dr Dario Stefanelli

Locked Bag 7 (28527 South West Highway), Manjimup WA 6258

+61 (0)417 063 235

Type of Research / Topics (Agriculture Victoria):

  • Optimizing stone fruit maturity and quality - measure and correlate stone fruit maturity with volatile emission during fruit development and after harvest; correlate effect of post-harvest storage and artificial ripening on volatile development.
  • Profitable stonefruit systems - create a more profitable and sustainable summerfruit industry resulting from targeted production systems (rootstock evaluation, tree training and water management) which deliver high value products with uniform composition and quality which consistently meet market expectations
  • Maximising Stone Fruit Production Efficiency - generate knowledge of how rootstock, canopy management and their interaction with crop load, affects the physiology of fruit development and fruit composition. Knowledge gained will be used to develop models and protocols to optimize fruit production, quality, minimize variability and produce fruit that meet consumer expectations. 
    This project will identify best management practices for rootstock selection, canopy management and crop load. This will ensure optimal tree growth and consistent fruit size and quality from the early years of production.

Relevant experience:

  • Premium Fruit and Vital Vegetables (2007 - 2013. Agriculture Victoria) - These projects focused mainly on whole woody plants (stone and pome fruits) and vegetable (brassicae, lettuce and tomatoes) responses to environmental stresses, such as lack of water and nutrients, with particular emphasis on resulting produce quality. The projects aimed to understand and consequently manipulate plant physiology to ameliorate produce quality along the entire production chain as well as increase sustainability by optimizing inputs. The Premium Fruit project also focused on correlating and modeling external inputs (especially water) effect on sugar and antioxidants accumulation.