A magical dry spell
and January and November I think was all pretty high,” he said.
“This is the time of year we don’t really want it, we end up having issues, high 20s to low 30s are probably ideal for harvest just to even the ripening and get better concentration of flavours.
“You’d certainly prefer it to be a little bit hotter than wet conditions any day.”
Despite temperatures regularly being into the mid-30s and above in the past couple of weeks meaning potential sun burn on grapes, Mr Dalbosco said some growers might opt to water their vines.
“We haven’t watered but I’m thinking about it and there would be people that would argue you should but it allows for that con- centration without doing it and then if you want weight you put some water on,” he said.
“If you have a big crop and there isn’t enough moisture there it can delay ripening so it’s probably a bit of a fine line.
“If you watered it would only be in small amounts, short irrigation stints of three to four hours where the vines would be getting two litres an hour and that would be once a week in the lead up if it remains really dry.”
Buckland dairy farmer Bruce Lumsden said a lack of rain is not something out of the ordinary for February.
“In February we’re not thinking we should be getting rain yet because it’s too early,” he said.
PHOTOS: Brad Worrall
“I would be concerned if we got really good rain at this time of the year because it can so easily revert back to hot, dry weather and any growth you do get can all be for nought because it would likely burn off with hot weather in March.
“We’d rather see the wet come in the third week of March, that would be ideal for us with regular rain there on in.
“And in a perfect world no early frosts which limits the growth of grass and also dries out the ground.”
Mr Lumsden said with most water resources fairly low at the moment the need for streams to be topped up was becoming important as well.
GREEN IS GOOD: Despite a dry February Buckland dairy farmer Bruce Lumsden says he has enough forage sorghum for another two weeks and expects there to be enough soil moisture for further growth in the coming weeks.