Griffith farmers anticipate best hort season in years

Griffith farmers anticipate best season in years for citrus and grapes

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UPWARD: Griffith and District Citrus Growers Association secretary, Vito Mancini, said things were looking up this season for citrus growers. Picture: Jacinta Dickins

UPWARD: Griffith and District Citrus Growers Association secretary, Vito Mancini, said things were looking up this season for citrus growers. Picture: Jacinta Dickins

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The Griffith countryside has enjoyed a healthy dose of rain, kicking crops along.

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FARMERS are anticipating a bumper harvest this year, as the Griffith countryside enjoys a healthy dose of rain in the lead-up to the spring season.

Grape grower, Bruno Brombal, said the soil moisture was "perfect" for vines, which were showing promising signs after a disastrous start to the year.

"It should be a good year this year for crops due to the weather conditions," Mr Brombal said.

"Wineries are chasing fruit all over the place, which they haven't done for a few years."

Griffith and District Citrus Growers Association secretary, Vito Mancini, has also seen a surge in demand for Griffith oranges off the back of a wave of interest from Japanese and American buyers.

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Mr Mancini said the renewed interest came as an enormous relief for citrus growers, who had lost their Chinese customers earlier in the year due to lockdown.

He said most growers had switched their citrus varieties a few weeks earlier than usual in order to keep up with the surge in international demand.

Mr Mancini said growers were quietly hoping the overseas buyers would become hooked on Griffith oranges and keep coming back for more even after the coronavirus pandemic.

"There's a lot of positivity in these markets at the moment, and while the coronavirus might have got people to buy our citrus, we're hoping the quality and the flavour keeps them buying," Mr Mancini said.

ANOTHER VINTAGE: Riverina Winegrape Growers chairman Bruno Brombal said the warm days and cool nights were ideal for grape harvest. PHOTO: Jacinta Dickins

ANOTHER VINTAGE: Riverina Winegrape Growers chairman Bruno Brombal said the warm days and cool nights were ideal for grape harvest. PHOTO: Jacinta Dickins

"We're finding sales in places like the US, Canada, and Japan are particularly strong because of the association of fruits and vegetables with a healthy lifestyle."

Horticultural agronomist, Steve Hirst, said the rain had come with impeccable timing, laying the groundwork for a productive spring ahead.

"Wine grapes start their season in three to four weeks, so this rain is absolutely perfect timing for their bud burst - same with citrus," Mr Hirst said.

"The last two winters were so very dry, so the rain is welcome all-round and it's really nice to come into spring with a reasonably good soil moisture."

Burrinjuck Dam is sitting at a comfortable 70 per cent capacity, and the Murrumbidgee's general security allocations are at a modest 14 per cent after several years of near-zero allocations.

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The story Griffith farmers anticipate best hort season in years first appeared on The Area News.

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