Orrvale orchardist Rahman Kutrolli said there was a silver lining to having the contract to supply SPC Ardmona with Williams pears cut — at least it made the decision to pull the trees easier.By Laura Griffin
Orrvale orchardist Rahman Kutrolli said there was a silver lining to having the contract to supply SPC Ardmona with Williams pears cut — at least it made the decision to pull the trees easier.
‘‘For the last two or three years, we’ve just been trying to cover costs with them,’’ Mr Kutrolli said.
‘‘Prices have been low, in part because there’s an over-supply in the market, and input prices have been going up. But you keep wondering if things will change.’’
Three excavators and a front-end loader were being used to pull about 9
‘‘It’s not a good feeling to pull trees — even though they were old, they were still productive,’’ the third generation orchardist said.
‘‘But it’s just how it is at the moment.
‘‘You have to make the tough decisions and even though it is expensive to take out and re-plant, you have to take emotions out of it and put the business hat on.’’
Mr Kutrolli plans to re-plant some of the orchard this season, probably with a fruit variety that had similar growing seasons as the Williams so they could make best use of the packing shed.
He said biting the bullet and pulling the trees also meant they could plant with more modern techniques, including trellises.
‘‘Fruit trees are not like some other crops, it takes a lot of time and money to establish them and to change varieties.’’
The decision to pull trees will also affect Mr Kutrolli’s employees and suppliers.
‘‘There will be flow-on effects; the blokes that were going to prune it, pick it, the chemicals we would have bought; it will affect everyone.’’
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