Crop Load Management

Understand the fruit variability within an orchard block to optimise end crop value

Crop Load Management

We understand that the annual profitability of apple orchards begins with an effective crop load management strategy. Optimising the number of fruit on a tree directly affects size and the quality of fruit that are harvested.

Using Outfield you can:

  • Understand fruit loading and variability across your orchard
  • Count the number of fruit per tree from 35mm diameter onwards
  • Identify loaded and sparse areas of the orchard 
  • Target hand thinning and fruitlet interventions  
  • Receive early, accurate yield estimates

Early understanding of fruit loading across the orchard enables you to effectively manage your resources at a granular level, over the full crop cycle.

Targeted management and thinning is easily achieved using Outfield’s fruit mapping technology, improving your chances of optimising early fruit set early to ensure an ‘on-spec’ harvest. Using fruit mapping in quick, iterative cycles allows you to rapidly collect and refine data on your coming crop, providing agility in streamlining and optimisation right when you need it.

Size is a critical characteristic for grading apples, and for every market there is a requirement to produce consistent fruit in the correct size range. In 2022 Outfield will be trialling directly measuring fruit size from drone imagery while the apples are on the tree.

The number of fruit on a given tree directly impacts the size of the fruit, with higher tree loading correlating to smaller average apple size. Understanding where your fruit is loaded within a block allows you to deploy pruning and thinning strategies to improve size and quality.

With Outfield’s drone technology you can map your fruit loading and predict your harvest yield. Traditional yield estimates come from hand counts of a small number of trees. Using Outfield you can survey the whole orchard, quickly creating a robust dataset which is tested and strengthened every time you scan.

You know better than anybody that your orchard is made up of individual trees – treating the orchard as one block limits your ability to fine tune production to its most efficient. Outfield provides you with the timely, actionable data you need to actively manage the fruit loading in your orchard to achieve consistency, quality, and quantity every season.


Well managed tree loading

Targeted interventions

Share data with your team

Quickly scan your orchards

Scroll to Top