Murray River Organics Group (MRG) has provided an update on its 2020 harvest, detailing ups and downs of the season. The company has already completed harvesting two different crops from its Nangiloc property. One of these is MRG’s wine grape harvest, which yielded a total of 1223 tonnes.
MRG’s crops of fresh table grapes and dried vine fruits are both 95 per cent harvested, but with very different results. The fresh table grapes have exhibited good quality, and a yield increase that is 30 per cent higher than last year. This is on top of a 74 per cent yield increase in 2019, compared to 2018’s harvest.
Much like the wine grape harvest, the company credited the increases to improved nutrition and irrigation. The fresh table grape crop also benefited from a new farm leadership team and improved operational management.
MRG experienced lower pricing in its primary market for fresh table grapes, China, due to an overabundance of the fruit. This was caused by COVID-19 related closures in other parts of Asia, which would usually provide a market for the grapes.
In comparison, the 95 per cent complete dried vine fruit harvest suffered far worse. MRG expects that this year’s crop yield will be less than last season’s, due to severe heat which damaged berries in December and January.
Furthermore, a difficult cool-drying season and rain in March and April reduced the availability of light-coloured fruit. Most fruit in Sunraysia’s dried vine industry was graded as 'brown' as a result of the poor conditions.