WELL-timed rains have helped give Tasmanian poppy crops a boost in the lead-up to flowering.
Good rains over the past couple of weeks arrived at an ideal time for many poppy crops.
Tasmanian Alkaloids acting field operations manager Noel Bevan said most crops were growing well.
“That week of easterly weather was unusual, we don’t seem to get as many of those systems now, but it was ideally timed,” he said.
“It was just at the right time for a lot of crops and has made a big improvement, especially in the Midlands and the South.”
Mr Bevan said a lot of the company’s 5000ha of poppies were now in the crucial flowering stage.
Despite recent wet conditions, Mr Bevan said so far there had been no major fungal issues with the crop.
“There have been a few hot spots, but it hasn’t been as bad as we thought it would be,” he said.
“I think that couple of hot days probably helped clear it up quickly.”
Moriarty farmer Colin Chaplin has been growing poppies for a number of years and they still form an important part of his cropping rotations.
After low yields last year, he is hoping this season’s crop will perform better in his NorthWest region.
“Our area last year was a bit poor in yields, we had a hot November and the crop went to flower a bit too fast.
“This year it has been cooler, so the crop has grown a bit slower and hopefully that will improve the yields.”
More rain is forecast over the next few days, but Mr Chaplin said that was unlikely to cause too many problems for his poppies.
Mr Bevan said poppy harvesting in Tasmania was scheduled to start in about mid-January.