Picking has started for the Goulburn Valley's field tomato harvest.LAURA GRIFFIN February 5, 2013 4:04am
Northern Victoria’s tomato growers have started picking and they want warm and dry conditions to continue.
Australian Processing Tomato Research Council’s industry development manager Liz Mann said it was too early to call the size of the region’s harvest.
‘‘It is looking better than last year because of the hot and dry conditions,’’ Ms Mann said.
‘‘With no rain forecast for the near future, prospects for a good harvest are looking pretty good.’’
The harvest will continue until the end of March or early April.
Ms Mann said there had been a lot of thrip pressure this season and farmers and industry groups were monitoring thrip levels and treating the pest as needed.
Rochester tomato grower Bruce Weeks is also optimistic about an ‘‘average to better than average’’ crop.
Mr Weeks plans to start harvesting the 130
He agreed thrip had been a bigger problem this year than previously.
‘‘Western flower thrips are becoming a big problem because they are developing resistance to insecticides. They’ve been a lot worse this year than in the last decade, and will probably be an ongoing problem,’’ Mr Weeks said.
He said prices looked fairly poor.
‘‘The high Australian dollar means people can import tomatoes cheaply.’’
Picking continues in hydroponic as well as field operations.
Moraitis Tomatoes production manager Greg Prendergast said staff picked tomatoes in the Tatura glasshouses throughout the year.
The company grows 3000 tonnes of tomatoes each year for the fresh market.
Mr Prendergast said there were high costs involved in growing the fruit in such a controlled environment.
Merrigum Community Group president Sally Taylor met with Australia Post on Thursday to discuss retaining the town’s post office.
Police investigating a break and enter at a Mulwala club more than 10 years ago are renewing their appeal for public assistance by releasing an image of a person they believe has information to assist them.
Tatura’s Victory Hall is set for a big year as preparations get under way to celebrate the hall’s 90th birthday in September.
Former district resident and award-winning television producer Joanna Werner will no doubt be shopping for a glitzy gown ahead of the Emmy Awards in New York on February 20.
Rochester Secondary College school captains Dom Atley and Tim Poole have been accepted to study biomedical science in the first step towards becoming doctors.
Will it be Merrigum or Lancaster?
Fire destroys key public buildings in Seymour
Finley Henry Matheson was bestowed one of the highest Australia Day honours.
Heathcote Hostel residents were treated to a visit from Heathcote’s favourite horse, Sub Zero, as part of Australia Day celebrations.
Recent weather conditions have come as a mixed blessing for farmers, with high rainfall and humidity providing a respite for irrigators as well as difficult growing and picking conditions for fruit growers.
Darren McLoughlin only started playing croquet seven years ago.
From orchards to harvest to shelves, a new exhibition will celebrate the Goulburn Valley’s iconic fruit industry. The Photos of the Fruit Industry exhibition will run as part of the SheppARTon Festival in March and aims to share memories and history of an industry that has shaped the region.
Former Benalla footballer Tom Rockliff has been named captain of the Brisbane Lions Football Club.
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