Rain, hail and drought
CHRIS and Sue Allan of Weemillah breathed a sigh of relief when they started harvesting the first of this season’s grapes on Tuesday.
It has been a difficult time for Mundubbera grape producers in recent years, first battling drought, then flood and last year being wiped out by hail.
So when rain was forecast the Allans put plastic covers over most of the vines where grapes were almost ripe to help keep them dry.
“We had 4.5 inches of rain aweek ago and then over an inch on the weekend,” Ms Allan said.
“The vines have fared well considering. There is a little bit of split from the weather but it’s not a problem as yet.
“It is important to keep the sprays down to dry up the splits and stop rot setting in.”
Mr Allen said the couple had picked 486 boxes on Tuesday and were hoping for the same yesterday, Wednesday.
“We’ll go back for a second colour pick on the weekend,” he said.
“Prices at the moment aren’t as good as this time last year but will allowus to make a profit.
“They won’t last though. In a week’s time a volume of grapes will hit the market forcing prices down.”
Although some damage to citrus has been reported in the O’Bil Bil area this week, the hail netting at Weemillah hasn’t yet been put to the test.
The ripe Flame Seedless grapes picked and packed at Weemillah this week are bound forWoolworths.
HARVEST BEGINS: Chris and Sue Allan of Mundubbera began harvesting their first crop of seedless Flame grapes on Tuesday. (From left) Sodam Kim, Denis Rai and Chhetra Bdr Karki.