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My harvest: Joel Brockhoff, Tarrawood South Australia

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APAL talks to growers about how their harvest is shaping up, some of the main issues they’re facing and what they’re on the lookout for in the future.

It might be a crazy time around the world but for South Australian grower Joel Brockhoff, it’s business as usual for this time of the year.

APAL Young Grower of the Year 2015 Joel and his father Pete run a 58ha property at Lenswood, about 40 minutes from Adelaide. The Brockhoff family has been growing fruit in the area since 1917 and is currently growing  Fuji, PremA96 (marketed as Rockit™), Gala and Cripps Pink (sold domestically as Pink Lady)  varieties as well as a number of pear varieties, avocadoes and citrus.

We spoke to Joel about how his harvest is shaping up, as well as issues surrounding the COVID-19 situation.

Joel with wife Kate, and family, in 2015, after receiving the APAL Young Grower of the Year award.

“Overall, we’re looking pretty good this year,” Joel said.

“We had a pretty easy Autumn, nice and cool and things were shaping up well. We got quite a bit of heat in December, certainly saw a bit of sunburn around then and it was pretty dry as well.

“Thankfully we got quite a bit of rain after that. Towards the end of January and start of February we got around 100mm of rain, which really took the edge off the heat.

“Maturity has been a little bit off; we’ve had some strange flowering which we’re not too sure about, but other than that it’s been good.

“Some good numbers, and good size. The Gala have come out a bit smaller but not too bad, and the others have been fine.

“We’re a bit worried about labour shortages down the track but certainly for the moment we’re not too bad. Being only about 40 minutes from Adelaide we’ve got guys, mostly coming from Afghanistan and places around there, and we’re finding they’re really keen to work and have a go which is great.”

Read more about the Brockhoff operation in this interview with Joel following his 2015 APAL Young Grower of the Year Award – Winning orchardist launches into Rockit™ 

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My Harvest

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