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South Africa: Grape harvest going smoothly
The first Prime from the earliest parts of the Orange River Region was packed in Week 47. It is expected that Prime volumes will still be low in Week 48 with small volumes of Flame Seedless being packed during this week. Berry size, pack-out percentages and quality of the first grapes are excellent. The harvest is still 5-7 days later compared to the 2011/12 season. Vineyards are very healthy.
In the Olifants River Region Starlight, Prime and Flame Seedless are entering veraison. Packing will start much later than in 2011/12, with the first Early Sweet® and possibly Prime expected to be harvested towards the end of Week 49, depending on good weather conditions. It is expected that the first Flame Seedless will be harvested in Week 51. Vineyards are still very healthy and good quality grapes are expected.
In the northern (early) part of the Berg River Region vineyards are starting to gain some of the time lost due to the late start of the season. The first Early Sweet® is expected to only be packed in Week 52, with Prime and Flame Seedless to follow in the new year (Weeks 1 to 2). In the southern (later) part of the region it is expected that harvesting will start up to 9 days later than the previous season.
Vineyards are healthy, and the fact that the flowering period was dry throughout the region, with increasing temperatures, holds promise for a good quality harvest.
Meanwhile in the Hex Valley River Region Crop protection applications are up to date whilst weather conditions during the flowering and fruit set period was excellent. It is expected that the early varieties will be harvested 8-10 days later than in 2011/12, whilst mid- and late season varieties should be harvested 4-8 days later than last season. Although it is too early to accurately predict the total crop volume, early indications are that the harvest might be slightly less than in 2011/12 season. Vineyards are healthy and daytime temperatures are constantly increasing.
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