Home' Cherry Magazine : Cherry summer 2019 Contents VICTORIA
BY ALISON JONES
Considering the high tonnage from last
season, this harvest was still high and
overall it was a great season.
Michael Rouget, Koala Cherries (Cobram,
Yarck, Strathbogie): “In Cobram, a cooler year
meant we harvested this region with little
damage. There was a medium to heavy crop.
Some rain damage in Yarck in mid-December
affected the end of Bing and the start of
Lapins. Overall there was a nice crop with
good fruit size and we sold good volumes
from the region. In Strathbogie, there was a
medium crop with good size and only minor
damage. There was good-quality fruit, the
majority of it post-Christmas.
“Overall it was an above-average
season with exports being the standout
change to the industry. The China protocol
worked and provided a good opportunity for
early and mid-season fruit before the bulk
of the Chilean sea freight cherries arrived
in the market. Vietnam was stronger than
last year, probably due to being the second
year of trade and everyone having a better
understanding of the market.”
Tim Jones, Wandin Valley Farms (North-
east Victoria, Wangaratta): “A nice crop of
good-sized fruit. Quite a bit of thinning was
required pre-harvest and we had a nice run
with the weather up until about 11 December,
when the north-east had significant rain.
This affected a few varieties and was a
benefit to others.”
Chris Turnbull, Turnbull Brothers Orchards
(Shepparton, Ardmona, Tatura): “We had an
excellent crop after good flowering weather.
We chemical and hand-thinned most of the
crop and most varieties had good size. We
started with Merchant on 20 November and
finished with Regina a month later. We had
about 10 rain events that caused minimal
damage due the short amount of time the
fruit was wet. Prices looked to be pretty
good for most of our season.”
Steve Chapman, Chappies Choice (Yarra
Valley): “The season was a good result
4 SEASON UPDATES
BY SUSIE GREEN
Growers in South Australia went into the
2018-19 season hopeful of good yields
and a very positive season. At Cherry
Growers SA’s pre-harvest meeting in early
November, growers reported that they
were expecting average to above-average
yields given the fruit that had set at that
stage and was developing on the trees.
However, as we progressed further into
the season a number of factors impacted
on the final outcome.
On 21 November, storms swept across
the Adelaide Hills, bringing strong winds,
heavy rain and a number of hail showers
and affecting a number of orchards in the
region. Shortly after this, bird pressures
began on crops at an unprecedented
level, with significant damage to anything
outside nets and green fruit also being
eaten. Grey-headed flying foxes were
also seen causing damage to orchards in
higher numbers than experienced before.
Wet weather through early to mid-
December added to these pressures, with
splitting of earlier varieties experienced.
The cooler weather also delayed ripening,
causing the season to run later than usual.
The final result was a significant reduction
in final yields and packouts across the
Adelaide Hills region in particular.
On a more positive note, growers were
able to enjoy some positive outcomes from
exports this season – particularly with the
Chinese market opening up – with better-
quality fruit yielding some good returns.
They are hopeful that this is the start of
stronger export development into the
future. Cherry Growers SA has focused its
state-based promotions around the post-
Christmas period with a social media focus
to drive awareness of high-quality fruit
being available into the New Year.
Susie Green is executive officer of the Cherry Growers
Association of South Australia.
for growers despite 100 millimetres of rain
in late November. Some varieties were
adversely affected but on balance crops
were medium to heavy with good fruit size
and consistent sales.”
Stephen Riseborough, Cherryhill Orchards
(Wandin, Tolmie): “The crop was only
medium-set in Wandin this season and
earlier thoughts were that pick-your-own
would predominate the demand. Pick-your-
own numbers have slightly declined this
season however with poor weather during
harvest deterring visitors to the region. In
Tolmie, a medium-set crop has allowed
very large-sized cherries, which if weather
conditions hold will allow good exports in
the lead-up to Lunar New Year.”
Alison Jones is president of the Victorian
Summer 2019 | horticulture.com.au/growers/cherry-fund
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