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The Western Australian harvest of red grapefruit has commenced and there are expectations of a bumper crop this year, exceeding over 2,000 tonnes.
The harvest had been set back a few weeks, because of rain, but according to growers such as Stewart Dobson, the yields and high and the quality is good.
"We're looking at 20-plus tonnes per hectare this year which is the best we've produced," he said.
"We've started harvesting this week and we've got some lovely fruit coming in and we hope the weather will dry up and we can keep going."
He says that 70% of the fruit will be sold on the domestic market, whilst the export targets are China, Taiwan and Japan.
This will be the first time that Australia has exported red grapefruit to Japan and it is anticipate that it could become a lucrative market.
Market access has been denied up to now because of fruit fly potential, but development of cold disinfectant treatments means that Australia now meets the standards required to export to Japan.
The potential is good – Japan imports around 38,000 tonnes of red grapefruit a year currently
"From the current information we're getting, it seems that Florida (US) might have finished exporting to Japan for the year, and South Africa won't be starting until earlier in June, so our market window has broadened a bit, so hopefully we can get a good stack of fruit into Japan."
Publication date: 3/20/2012
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