Other members of the executive staff who have had the opportunity of seeing for themselves how things are done in other parts of the world include Gordon and Ray Wattie, sons of our Managing Director. Many new ideas of these two practical men who have grown up in the food processing industry, have been put into practice on knowledge gained from other parts of the world. Bulk handling of peas, put into practice last year, is just one example.
Our Chief Chemist, John Fielding, was able to make a trip to England and America; John Coles and John Carrington, our Chief Engineers of the Hastings and Gisborne factories, were able to tour Australian factories last year.
The latest member of our staff to have the opportunity of a trip to the U.S.A. is Jim Anderson, our Can Plant Supervisor, who has only just returned. Jim went away to investigate the latest reﬁnements in can making, to further his knowledge of the technical side of things, and to inspect machinery to be purchased for our own can plant.
Jim tells us he thinks such trips well worth while. With modern methods of travel, a great distance can be covered in a quick time. If a proper itinerary is worked out beforehand, a great deal can be ﬁtted into a very short time. He is high in his praise for the American worker. They work hard, and are very keen in specialising in particular aspects of their individual trades. Their organisation is very efﬁcient, and makes one think that people in New Zealand could do a lot more for their country if they were prepared to work harder and more efﬁciently. There is a vast difference in the service expected and received between the two countries. The American expects service and gets it, says Jim.
We trust that these visits will continue between our friends overseas and our own staff. Much good has come of them already. They are indeed a great stimulus to our industry.
LEAF ANALYSIS OF APPLES
In “California Agriculture” recently there was an interesting short article by E. L. Proebsting, Professor of Pomology, University of California at Davis. The article showed the uptake of N.P.K. by leaf analysis, and is quoted here in part.
An apple orchard was shown to be low in phosphorus and potassium as a result of leaf analysis. Test plots were established in 1952, and fertilised with nitrogen, potash and phosphates. In 1956 potassium sulphate alone was applied. The amounts of phosphorus and potassium were greater than ordinarily used by growers.
Monthly analyses of leaf samples throughout the summer of each year showed maximum N.P.K. in spring, with a gradual decrease during summer. Calcium and magnesium increased steadily, sodium was negligible at all times, manganese showed no deﬁnite clear-cut pattern.
Although the potassium level was low, being less than .5 per cent. in some samples, no deﬁnite symptoms were present, and trees made no response to added potash.
The conclusion drawn is that a zone or level for each element is present in an apple tree. If a tree falls below that level there is a response, but if above the level, response is nearly always absent. The extent of this zone of uncertainty, where response can be determined by trial, is rather wide for nitrogen perhaps less so for potassium, and undetermined for phosphorus. There have been so few cases of phosphorus response in deciduous orchards that reliable levels of deﬁciency have not been established.
The fact that apple trees in this particular district, that were deﬁcient in phosphates and potash, according to leaf analysis, failed to respond to fertilisers, indicates that leaf analysis is a useful tool when used with other tests, but leaf analysis is not adequate by itself in determining of fertiliser programme.