Sun­shine on onions but pain in prices

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS -

A long hot sea­son has de­liv­ered good yields for Tas­ma­nian onion grow­ers.

Har­vest­ing is wind­ing up and while it has been a long sea­son of ir­ri­ga­tion, the warm and rel­a­tively dry au­tumn has been ideal.

Mike Ertler from Pre­mium Fresh said the com­pany fin­ished har­vest­ing onion crops last week.

Mr Ertler said the good yields may have been helped by warm con­di­tions in spring.

“The only down­side is there was a lot more ir­ri­ga­tion, but that’s not a prob­lem un­less peo­ple run out of water.

“None of our grow­ers ran out, but some were get­ting close by the end.”

The dry con­di­tions helped re­duce dis­ease pres­sure, with mildew in car­rot tops and onion tops more com­mon in wet­ter con­di­tions.

Har­vest Moon agri­cul­tural di­rec­tor Mark Kable said the com­pany still had up to fort­night of onion har­vest­ing and the crops were ex­cel­lent.

“We’ve had a great sea­son, yields have been fan­tas­tic.

“We’re still har­vest­ing and the yields have caught us off guard. We’ve been strug­gling to find bins and places to put them all.”

Mr Kable said many fac­tors, in­clud­ing warm spring con­di­tions, par­tic­u­larly in Novem­ber, led to great yields.

He said the com­pany’s in­vest­ment in a new onion planter and har­vester, com­bined with im­proved va­ri­eties, was now pay­ing off.

How­ever, good crops in­ter­state are also putting pres­sure on mar­kets.

Mr Ertler said an over-sup­ply of onions was push­ing prices down but Pre­mium Fresh had taken ad­van­tage of over­seas de­mand and was ex­port­ing to Ja­pan and Bri­tain.

“Any crop that you can take out of the do­mes­tic mar­ket at the mo­ment will help re­duce the over­sup­ply,.”

Mr Kable said sta­ble weather in most states meant good yields across Aus­tralia and that was im­pact­ing on the mar­ket.

“Ex­port is not as strong as it has been ei­ther,” he said.

“There is some de­mand com­ing out of Asia but that’s about it.”

Things are just ramp­ing up for the state’s grow­ers of pro­cess­ing pota­toes.

Chair­man of Sim­plot’s potato grow­ers’ com­mit­tee Trevor Hall said his har­vest at Scotts­dale was off to a good start.

Mr Hall said this was de­spite the Rus­set va­ri­ety be­ing off bit early and some pink rot around.

In the North-Eats, the first crops at An­drew Lester’s prop­erty were dug this week.

“We just started yes­ter­day and so far things are look­ing all right,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.