A Palmerston North horticultural scientist's life-long passion for strawberries has finally borne fruit as trials growing the summertime berry in winter prove successful.
Now, Mike Nichols has managed to produce double the industry average yield with his trial crops, according to Stuff.
He says commercial growers, using the industry standard variety of strawberry, harvest 60 tonnes a hectare on average from their fields in summer, but his more successful trials produced double that.
He believes they could potentially reach a yield of 200 tonnes a hectare year round, with
relatively small seasonal variation.
Mr Nichols said they'd proven it could be done, but whether their techniques could be scaled-up and become more widely adopted was still up in the air.
He says it works, but what the economics of it look like is another matter, and one that's outside his expertise.