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Rain produces positives and negatives for region’s growers

Rain produces positives and negatives for region’s growers

For Mr Rick Steicke of Gully Gardens in Angaston, the recent rain and wintery conditions in the middle of summer have created some issues for his stone fruit crops.

Rick grows an assortment of fruits including apricots, peaches, plums and pears and also owns a vineyard.

He says that the rain has caused some cracking to peaches around the stems.

“Prior to this rain we had a lot of very hot days and the flesh of our pears, peaches and prunes experienced slight burning,” said Rick.

“When the rain started we only had a few apricots left on the trees but have now experienced some cracking to fruit.

“This will be a problem for all growers in our area.”

Rick also said the fruit that has been cut and is sitting on trays is now at risk of becoming darker in appearance due to being constantly moist and sticky from the high humidity.

“This could cause the fruit to darken, but the flavour will not be affected,” he said.

“It will also be more beneficial to the consumer as the sulphur levels will be lower.

“Brown rot will be the next thing to look out for now, we will just have to wait and see.”

Overall Rick is pleased with his bountiful crops and says that he can afford some wastage.

“The rain will be good for next year’s harvest as it will create positive fruit bud,” he said.

“The February rain last year created great bud and this current rain will benefit fruit bud development.

“This rain will particularly benefit sizing for pome fruit such as apples and pears and will produce great peach flavours as the hot weather isn’t around to ripen them as fast.”