Although family-owned fresh produce company Montague has had 5,000 apple trees damaged by bushfire in Batlow, New South Wales, it has managed to keep majority of its orchard safe. The orchard manager is still assessing the affected crop.
Montague has a 75-hectare orchard in Batlow with 5,000 trees on the boundary of the property damaged by the fires. Around 200,000 apple trees were saved and have remained as a viable crop.
“It is with great relief and gratitude that we announce only minor damage to our 75-hectare apple orchard in Batlow NSW due to fire over the weekend of January 4 and 5,” said Montague CEO Scott Montague. All Montague staff were evacuated prior to the arrival of the fire and no injuries have been reported.”
The Montague team will be working with the local industry to repair damages, and despite these losses, a significant crop of “high quality apples from the Batlow region” will be available throughout the country in the coming season, said Montague.
As the mature trees have not aborted the young fruit, it is likely some of the damaged trees may be saved as a viable crop.