Good weather has contributed to a good tomoto crop this year says a Strathallan tomato farmer.RUTH CLAYTON February 22, 2013 4:22am
Strathallan tomato farmer Paul Monigatti is expecting a better quality fruit this year, though admits the number of tomatoes currently being harvested is ‘‘not breaking any records’’.
Mr Monigatti, owner of Rich River Tomatoes, said good weather — characterised by a lack of rain during January — was producing a better quality tomato than last year’s crop.
Rain during harvest can cause scarring of the fruit and disease in the plant.
The business is one third of the way through harvesting its tomatoes, and is employing about 50 pickers
Mr Monigatti described the harvest as steady and said getting a good price for his tomatoes was all about ‘‘picking the market’’.
The business has to-date harvested 30 per cent fewer tomatoes than last year, due to planting fewer tomatoes in the initial planting stage.
There are traditionally four intermittent plantings of tomatoes, which are harvested in stages.
Planting began in early October and continued through to mid-January.
Mr Monigatti said choosing to plant 10 per cent of his tomatoes in the first planting would hopefully mean the remainder of his tomatoes would fetch a higher price when it came time to sell them.
‘‘The fresh market is all supply and demand,’’ Mr Monigatti said.
‘‘We’re hoping we’ll pick up when the price is up.’’
The peak harvest time is normally in mid-March, and harvest is expected to continue until between the end of April and mid-May.
Shepparton Swans and Benalla both had altered coaching panels for the Goulburn Valley Football League grand final rematch on Saturday.
The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The second annual Bonnie and Clyde Rods, Rats and Rides Festival fired up at Tatura Park at the weekend (April 11-12), drawing thousands of petrol heads and rockabilly music lovers to Tatura.
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Lockington Vintage Tractor and Stationary Engine Rally is on for the 18th time this weekend and there is something for everyone.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
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A new book, Men from the River Bends, honours Cobram-Barooga and district soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice after enlisting in World War 1.
Deniliquin bowler Dennis O'Keefe lost 25-19 in his bid for a quarter-final spot in the Victorian Singles Championships this week.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
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