Heartbreakingly, just as the spring was looking more hopeful for growers after last year’s devastating hailstorm, the hail storms of 21 November have left them facing another hard year of extra management to salvage crops, reduced yields and income.
While the full impact of the storm will only become clear in coming weeks as fruit matures, it is significant and we are working with growers to assess the impact and work out what is out there on the trees and how best to salvage the crops that are left.
There has not been much new planting occurring this season, as growers looked to cost save as much as possible in recovery from last season. Many of the newer varieties that have been planted in recent years were starting to come into production, providing a more positive focus for the coming season. We may now have to wait a bit longer to see that promise fulfilled.
Spring in South Australia has been relatively dry, with rainfalls below average through the period. While this reflects the patterns across much of south-eastern Australia, most growers within the Adelaide Hills and South East regions have received sufficient winter rains to fill the soil profiles and provide adequate water for storages. Although, with the forecast conditions over the months ahead, careful water management is going to be required.
The Apple & Pear Growers Association of SA had our Annual General Meeting and dinner at The Manor, Basket Range on 8 November, which was very well attended, and a highly enjoyable social evening. Congratulations to Joyce Ceravolo, Matthew Flavell and Michael Stafford, who were all re-appointed to their positions, joining Ashley Green, Tony Ceravolo, Jody Schultz and Timothy Vickers in forming the Management Committee for the year ahead.