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Bigger, Better quality of fruit with Haifa's Products

Introducing high quality, water soluble fertilisers into their fruit growing program several years ago has put the Borg family in Western Australia on
the path to bigger and better quality produce, generating added excitement for the further expansion of their enterprise.
Matt Borg said it also had helped to halve spreader applications of granular fertilisers in their orchard.
Matt and his son, Joseph, are third and fourth generation orchardists in the Jarrahdale area of the Perth Hills,
located in a 1000-1200 millimetre annual rainfall zone. The family originally commenced fruit growing in the nearby Roleystone area and Matt’s father, Charlie, still lends a helping hand today – or a word or two.
Joseph Borg

They have traditionally spread Potato E and Nitrophoska fertilisers at around the budburst stage depending upon the crop and property, and also have applied Super Copper Zinc Moly on new orchard land, but these applications have halved as they have advanced their use of water soluble fertilisers.
The Borgs were introduced to the high quality range of soluble fertilisers from Haifa several years ago by Rob Illiano with Mirco. Haifa’s greenhouse grade potassium nitrate, Multi-K™, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium formulas, Poly-Feed™, and calcium nitrate,
Haifa Cal™, have since been regulars in their fertigation program.

“Granule fertiliser is good, but it doesn’t last,’’ Matt said. The family also has used liquid fertilisers, but Rob said there had been a swing to
soluble products in recent years. “We use a high N (nitrogen) Poly-Feed as well as a high K (potassium) and low N Poly-Feed and we have had good
results. We also do some foliar spray applications with Poly-Feed and liquid K, mainly for colour at the end. They are going right through the trees and into the root system,’’ Matt said. “It gives us a better finish. When we need to push the fruit size, we can do that with Poly-Feed.’’
Rob said growers were seeing the results – bigger fruit and better quality. "With Haifa products, we are confident that we can get high yields and quality. We can get more fruit into the premium sizes".

Matt said newer varieties producing fruit that “coloured-up’’ and looked better also contributed to the improved yields and quality.
The Borgs use the Haifa Cal calcium nitrate, often in the apple orchard, when they need more growth.
For a “quick fix’’ when necessary, particularly where trees are not yet fertigated, they also still use a shower rose boom set-up rigged to the side of
their tractor for applications. “We also might treat certain pockets of the major fertigated area this way,’’ Matt said.

He said their newer block, formerly a dairy farm and market block that had been a little neglected, was particularly “hungry’’
for fertilisers. Rob said growers had learned it was a fine line with fertilisers and careful decision-making was required.
“You can spend a lot of money and not get the return,’’ he said.

“The Haifa products are very good – they are easy to mix. The quality is unbelievable – they are just easy to use. Other products can be cheaper, but they are not as soluble.’’
Meanwhile, the Borgs also operate ‘Jarrahdale Roses’, which is set over 2ha (5ac) and sells mainly two-year-old bush, standard, climber and ground cover potted plants to Bunnings Warehouse. The family earlier was using a slow release fertiliser with the plants before several years ago switching to Haifa’s Multicote controlled release fertiliser and a formula offering an eight-month controlled release. “Our issue was getting the fertiliser to hold up until the end – and this does hold up until the end,’’ Matt said: “There are other cheaper products you can use, but they are not as good.’’