A mag­i­cal dry spell

Myrtleford Times - - NEWS -

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.

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