Orange River Region
The region is moving towards the end of the season with volumes 10% lower than original estimates.
Thompson and Sweet Globe has been harvested and Autumn Crisp is coming to an end in week 4.
Late white seedless volumes were also down.
Sweet Celebration had another successful year with a firm texture and excellent eating quality.
Orange River photos:
Berg River Region
The region commenced in December with Sable Seedless and Midnight Beauty.
Overall the region is one week earlier on all varieties.
Weather conditions were moderate to ideal throughout the season, Sugar accumulation was consistent and conditions were ideal for colouring.
Sable Seedless finishes in the region during week 4.
First Sweet Celebration and Sweet Globes harvest commenced week 4 and will continue to week 7.
Autumn Crisp also tends to be earlier and harvest will commence on young vines during week 4 to 5.
The winter rains have replenished numerous water resources in the area and we do not foresee any challenges with water supply after the notorious Western Cape drought the past few years.
The past weekends rainfall did not reach this production region.
Berg River photos:
Hex River Valley
The past two weeks were prominent Sable Seedless weeks.
Numerous varieties were covered with plastic.
Harvest on mid-late season varieties as Sweet Celebration and Sweet Globe also commenced in week 4.
The Vititec Crimson Seedless clone shows promise at an early stage with excellent production and a beautiful colour. The variety tend to be earlier than traditional Crimson which leads to an extended Crimson harvest from week 4 to 14.
High temperatures in week 3 broke down acidity and helped with sugar accumulation.
The area is showing signs of a good moderate crop for this season.
Hex River photos:
Rain figures and update:
The last 3 days of week 4 we had warmer and more windy days to dry off the fruit after the rain from the previous weekend.
Luckily all the sensitive early varieties such as Tawny where already harvested. And the mid-season varieties as Sweet Globe, Sweet Celebration stood up to the rain extremely well with minor issues which came as a big relief for our growers.
The Hex River consists of about 35% Crimson Seedless of the total crop and at this point the variety was not ripe enough for the rain to have a definitive effect.
The later white seedless varieties as Autumn Crisp with average Brix at 13 showed losses of around 10% already. This was due to the fact that rain fell in a critical berry enlargement stage for this variety.
Harvest was placed on hold for week 4 to give the vines a chance to absorb the water and give the vines time for transpiration and photosynthesis to return to normal.
The following actions have been implemented and will continue over the next few days to ensure healthy fruit reaches the market.
1. Sanitation- removal of berries that shows any signs of decay.
2. Systemic fungicide - to halt any further infections and kill the fungus.
3. Sulphur dust - action that kills spores that can be floating freely in the orchard.
Hex River rain photos:
Please feel free to reach out for additional information.