CHERRY growers throughout the country are carefully monitoring their crops as warmer weather approaches with many hoping for a decent rain event to kick things along.
The August newsletter from Cherry Growers Australia provided a seasonal outlook coming out of winter for the main growing regions.
The NSW report from Fiona Hall, Biteriot and CGA president, Tom Eastlake, said water resources were low in Orange and Young with growers are looking for rain.
"Despite recent warm days (18C), chill accumulation has been high in Orange with 68 chill portions (1176 chill hours) and moderate to high in Young with 59 chill portions (988 chill hours) accumulated to 29 July," their report said.
"Budset has been good and if the warm weather continues, an early season is predicted.
- Australian mainland cherries shown off in China
- WA cherry auction reaches $100,000 in bidding duel
- Sydney Markets Cherry Auction reaches $31,000 bid
Susie Green from the South Australian Cherry Growers Association reported that after a long dry spell through summer and autumn, winter rainfall was average, to below average in South Australia, meaning many of the water storages are still quite low.
"More rain is needed across the growing regions to replenish dams and set up the trees for the year ahead," Ms Green said.
"Winter chill has been reasonable (Lenswood chill to 29 July: 69 chill portions [489 chill hours]), although there are some indications that we may be in for an early flowering."
From Koala Cherries in central Victoria, Simon Rouget said after a very dry autumn, winter has been delivering some useful rain giving good soil moisture levels into the root zone.
"However we are still waiting for a substantial rain event to get the dams full which normally occurs in spring," he said.
"Winter chill has been above average in northern Victoria. If we get warm spring weather we should expect trees to come out of dormancy early and strong.
"Fruit bud density is looking on the medium side in some varieties and blocks while other are on the heavy side.
"Some minor parrot damage has been observed in fruit buds of some varieties. After trying many different strategies over the years, it seems we are still looking for a good solution.
"All in all very happy with the way season is shaping so far. As always the next couple of months are very important during flowering, and fruit set."
"Coldstream chill to 29 July: 61 chill portions (731 chill hours). Tatura chill to 29 July: 62 chill portions (779 chill hours)."
Fruit Growers Tasmania's Michael Tarbarth's report said budset has been reported as good and chill accumulation in Grove (as at July 29) is very high at 90 chill portions (1120 chill hours).