Evaluation of land in Wairoa District for potential horticultural development
Rau, J. T. (2018). Evaluation of land in Wairoa District for potential horticultural development (Thesis, Master of Science (MSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12237
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12237
The Wairoa District, on the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand has less horticultural development than areas to the north and south. The objective of this study was to provide information to help inform landowners who may wish to invest in horticulture which could improve the economic situation of the district. Field work involving local scale climate mapping and soil characterisation of areas with potential for horticulture in Wairoa District was completed in 2017. Constructed climate and topographical maps with existing soil maps were evaluated against known crop growth requirements to produce crop potential maps identifying areas with potential for crop production. Horticultural crops included in this study include kiwifruit, apples, cherries. Alternative crops include hemp and poppies. Between mid-April – 31 October 2017, 45 portable iButton temperature loggers were deployed throughout Land Use Capability classes 1-3 in the Wairoa District and were set to record hourly temperature. When regressed against nearby climate stations, long term (18 -26 years) temperature datasets were derived from the short term iButton datasets. MODIS satellite images were also analysed to help identify areas prone to frost. From the long-term datasets local scale chill hour, growing degree days and October frost risk maps were constructed for the Wairoa District. For the central area from Wairoa to Frasertown, chill hours were estimated to range between 600 – 900, growing degree days 1300 – 1400 and October frost risk less than 25%. From four representative soil types, horizon samples were taken to determine the soils physical properties including each horizons Total Available Water Holding Capacity (TAWHC). Horizon TAWHC for each soil type were summed to give TAWHC to 1 meter which along with 21 years of estimated daily rainfall and potential evapotranspiration were used in a soil water balance model to estimate seasonal crop irrigation requirements. Irrigation estimates for kiwifruit compared well against published values ranging between mean 204 – 247 mm. The crop potential maps with seasonal crop irrigation estimates can enhance a land owner’s ability to make informed decisions resulting in economic benefit to whanau, community and the Wairoa District.
The University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses