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Good supply of stone fruit to South Australian Produce Markets despite adverse weather

Despite the damaging storms that hit South Australia's Riverland and Adelaide Plains a fortnight ago, the South Australian Produce Market is only noticing a minimal reduction in the supply of stone fruit from the region.

Marketing Manager, Penny Reidy told FreshPlaza that the supply of stone fruits into the SA Produce Market from the Riverland has been consistent to other years at this time of the season.

"It is not uncommon for weather events to affect stone fruit early season supplies – this year it has been hail storms, other years it has been wind or rain," she said. "We are probably about 10 per cent down on supplies of stone fruits this week at the markets, however the large Riverland growers will be in full picking production in the next week or so and we anticipate excellent supplies of great-tasting fruits.”

She added that yellow nectarines and peaches were the first to hit the market floor, and South Australian-grown stone fruit supplies are expected to increase over the next few weeks just in time for the warmer weather.

"We have seen small supplies of apricots and by the end of the month we will have great supplies of all varieties including white nectarines and peaches – all grown in South Australia’s Riverland region," Ms Reidy said.

Last week, the ABC reported that Riverland farmers are facing major damage to their annual crops following the weather event, that brought winds over 100 kilometres per hour, heavy rain, and hail in parts and caused damage to netting and glasshouses - and more importantly fruit and vegetable crops which have had mixed fortunes. The South Australian government announced that it would be providing assistance to farmers as they clean up their properties.

“Veggie growers who have started the clean-up need to know the State Government is supporting them and working with industry to make the task a bit easier,” Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said. "We also want to send the signal to any Adelaide Plains farmers who are yet to tackle the clean-up that they can get started. The sooner our growers are able to clean up the damage from the storm, the sooner they will be able to return to production.”

This assistance will be made available to coordinate the collection of waste from Adelaide Plains horticulturalists and vegetable growers whose farms and glasshouses were damaged.

“The Adelaide Plains is home to a vibrant horticulture sector comprising large and small operators who are key drivers for our state economy,” Minister Basham said. “The devastating storms have seen some properties suffer severe loss of crops and destruction of farm infrastructure. I visited a number of Adelaide Plains properties with AusVeg SA chief executive officer Jordan Brooke-Barnett to inspect the damage to glasshouses and field crops first hand. As an initial assistance, while the damage assessment work is still underway, we will provide $50,000 to AusVeg SA to support the coordination and collection of shattered glass, plastic and waste from Adelaide Plains farms.”

Farmers across the state affected by the storm event are encouraged to report damage to their industry association or to the Department of Primary Industries and Regions on 1800 931 314 and can also seek free financial counselling from Rural Business Support on 1800 836 211, and free advice and support from the Family and Business Support Program

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