An Internet database to record information from growers' plots was developed to characterise agronomic performance and labour efficiency of peach-nectarine (Prunus persica L. Batsch) production in France. Six indicators were used: gross yield (Yield), percentage of fruit size above or equal to grade A (GradesA), fresh marketable yield in GradesA (MYieldA), total working time (Hours in hÂ ha-1), total working time per gross yield (HoursYield) and total working time per fresh marketable yield in GradesA (HoursMYieldA). The database contained 24,737 year-plots over the period 2000-2005, representing nearly 30% of the French peach-nectarine production. References based on the median and the 20th and 80th percentiles were developed for ~100 of the most commonly-grown cultivars and presented for yellow-fleshed peach cultivars. The growers who recorded their data in the EFI database were then able to carry out an assessment of each plot in their orchards by comparison with the reference values of the six indicators. The analyse of EFI database on the country scale showed that the maturity period was the main factor which strongly affected agronomic performances and labour efficiency ratios, but not total working times. Nectarine genetic traits reduced only fruit size. Working times for the main manual operations were very significantly affected by region factor partly because orchard height differed according to regions. Tree height strongly influenced the performances. Low trees decreased yield (-4.9Â MgÂ ha-1) and high trees increased total working time about 190Â hÂ ha-1 compared to mid-high trees. The use of the EFI information system by the growers is discussed in relation with the participatory process in which technical advisers make it possible to build a tool to support the decision-making process in accordance with users' expectations.
Assessment Cultivar references Database Decision aids Labour efficiency Performance indicators
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