Rain, hail and drought

Central and North Burnett Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

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.

Photo: Sue Har­ris

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.

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