Kaso Orchards in Coomboona is a family business growing plums and apples.
The Kasos have been on the 200 acres (80 hectare) property since 1959. Today the business is run by brothers Alex and Skinder Kaso and with Skinder’s son now in the business, there’s three generations involved.
They use high density trellis planting techniques with three branches either side to allow good light penetration.
Three earlier model FrostBoss® fans protect their crops, which they plan to upgrade with the more efficient composite blades this year as well as buying two new FrostBoss® C49 machines for a new block of land. Construction of a new shed is also in their plans for additional storage.
In addition to the peace of mind the fans provide, they improve the quality of the fruit. “We see less scarring on the plums” says Alex. “Having fruit downgraded can halve the price you get so it’s a big impact.”
Alex and Skinder pride themselves on quality. “We’re fussy packers and want to maintain a reputation for quality to protect our name.”
Before they had the fans, Alex recalls the 2006 frost which burnt off the plums and lost a lot of apples.
“Water sprinkling isn’t an option because it would use too much water”, explains Alex. They could easily use 10% of their annual water right for frost protection and they say that’s just too much, particularly when it’s being applied at a time of year when the water is not helping growth as well.
The risk around water security also appears to be increasing. There’s a lot more uncertainty around water allocation as a percentage of your water rights and, if you need more, prices on the open market have skyrocketed.
Kaso Orchards plums are packed through until late April. Export markets include Hong Kong and Thailand.