THIS growing season, the Goulburn Valley is set to experience bumper crops, with an estimated 20 percent increase in exports to China expected to come from our region.
As well as stonefruit, included in the fruits experiencing a bumper season are cherries, which are this year experiencing notable growth in size and harvest due to the hotter than normal weather.
Summerfruit Australia CEO, John Moore said, “The fruit season is good in Shepparton this year.
“Fruit including apricots, peaches, nectarines and plums will be going to mainland China from the Shepparton region. Last year we didn’t have all of the Shepparton region’s growers registered for shipment to China, but this year, everyone interested in sending to China is registered.
“We expect huge numbers to come from the Shepparton area.
“There was a significant increase in registrations in the Shepparton area. 122 people are registered for China Australia-wide and 20-30 of those are from the Shepparton area.
“The extra registrations out of Shepparton this year will mean that the volumes of fruit being exported will be higher.
“As far as tonnage from the Shepparton area there was a couple of thousand tonnes of the combined commodities going to China.
“As an industry 17,800 tonnes were exported from across Australia, and we expect that to increase this year by 20 percent.”
Despite several bad weather conditions, from hailstorms to drought, chair of Summerfruit Australia and stonefruit grower, Andrew Finlay is also confident that this year’s crop is shaping up to be sweeter than ever.
“Stonefruit thrives during drought-weather; so, despite the drier conditions and minimal rainfall, this season’s fruit will be nice and sweet,” Andrew said.
Local orchardist at Temhem Orchards, Shannan Mehmet said, “We have an abundance of fruit this year and the quality is good.
“More orchardists are diversifying into the fresh fruit and export markets. We will be handling domestic sales up until Christmas and then into the new year we will ramp up our exports to China which we hit hard for about a month, so we are anticipating that to be good as well.”