Sizzling temperatures in Namibia & Northern Cape

Delayed start to the South African table grape season

In the Orange River region early cultivars can be seven to ten days later than the previous season, mid-season cultivars three to four days later.

By the time of the late season cultivars, the season is expected to have caught up to a usual start date. 

Not all Orange River grape producers expect a late start; some say they're going to be following the usual schedule.

The region had significantly more cold units than usual, as a result of the strong cold fronts over the Western Cape this winter.

The influence of the Cape cold could be felt into southern Namibia; in the Aussenkehr Valley the start of the season is similarly expected to be delayed, by roughly five to seven days, for a start in around week 46.

Of course, warm weather from now onwards (and temperatures are back to normal in Namibia and the Orange River region - in the Northern Cape, the thermometer went up to 42°C this week) can change the picture. 

The next three weeks will be important for colour development on later varieties.

In Limpopo, South Africa's earliest table grape production area, the first grapes are hoped to start coming in by week 45.

Cool weather boosts berry development
In Namibia berries on early cultivars are currently between 14mm and 18mm in diameter; cooler weather during cell division has promoted  berry development, says a grape grower.

A very good season is expected, he notes, looking really very promising for an above average crop. 


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