New South Wales producers on the Far North Coast are well-pleased with their harvest, now in its final stages. Recently, they saw ideal growing conditions for sub-tropical stone fruit.
Orchardist Jeff Zanette said his trees required little water so micro-sprinkler irrigation provided controlled amounts with the result that sugar content was high, producing fruit with flavour along with size and colour.
Controlling fruit fly, a major export market issue, was successful again using protein bait sprays and traps, returning the best prices in the last six to eight years after a long period of poor prices.
Zanette said: "Reportedly Swan Hill had a late frost. There was apparently hail in Renmark last week. West of Stanthorpe there are some reports of removing fruit to save trees while others had small fruit due to lack of water."
US imports tend to dry up from the second week in October, but there remained plenty of late fruit in cool storage and a bad peach can spoil a new season market. The Wilsons Valley, north of Lismore, was the forefront of sub-tropical stone fruit activity when new varieties from Florida modernised the industry 40 years ago.