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Pink Ladies are blooming

Orchardists are reporting good yields of quality apples destined for the fresh food market in Australia and overseas.

GEOFF ADAMS April 29, 2014 3:05am

Pink Lady apples in the packing shed of Vigliaturo's, Tatura.


Orchardists are reporting good yields of quality apples destined for the fresh food market in Australia and overseas.

Although the excessive heat in January and February caused some sun burning on Pink Ladies, the sheer volume of fruit has allowed packers to select the best for the market.

Brad Smith’s Wintersun business has almost 36ha under Pink Ladies, producing about 7000 bins annually for mostly the domestic market.

His autumn harvest has been under way for about three weeks and for many other growers the peak is expected this week.

‘‘The colour seems to be more intense than other years and we’ve got excellent sugar levels, so the quality is good,’’ Mr Smith said.

‘‘In the past 14 days the mornings have been cool and crisp. The temperatures have been less than 10 degrees with a heavy dew, and we’ve had clear blue skies. That’s what the fruit needs.

‘‘It’s been an exceptional season.’’

He said the Granny Smith harvest had also been good.

‘‘After Pink Ladies we’ll be doing Sundowner (apples), and they’ll be the last for the season.’’

Mr Smith said the market conditions also looked promising this season.

‘‘Other areas are expecting to produce only light crops.’’

Ardmona Pack House director David Vigliaturo said it was a good season for apples.

‘‘The quality of fruit that has come through is very good,’’ Mr Vigliaturo said.

‘‘The price seems to be good at the moment and the talk is that this will continue to be strong throughout the year.’’

Plunkett Orchards marketing manager Owen Carter said they had started harvesting and were looking towards a good crop of Pink Ladies.

‘‘The GV has the right climate to suit Pink Ladies. Our Pink Ladies also seem to store better than other areas,’’ Mr Carter said.

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