Cherry Growers Association committee member, Scott Coupland, said while the the district’s extreme weather poses significant threats to this year’s cherry harvest, he holds no concerns at this stage.
The local cherry grower said Young will be in for a bumper crop if Mother Nature switches on the sunshine over the next few weeks, ideally capped off with the occasional shower.
“It’s too early to tell yet, but so far leading up to the season things have been very good,” he said.
“But again in the cherry game you don't count the chickens before they hatch, there's too many variables now.
“We haven’t had as much chill as we should, but I think we’ve had enough and there’s plenty of moisture in the ground.
“However the blossoms are just coming out now and we’d like to see some nice, warm sunny days and a bit of bee activity to set the crops.”
He said he’d also like to see the ground dry out just that little bit which would allow access to the orchard.
Although remaining optimistic ahead at this stage, Coupland isn’t in denial of the possible threats the wet weather can bring.
“It’s also a very critical time of year,” he said.
“While the weather’s warming up and there’s plenty of moisture around, there’s the perfect remedy for fungus.”
Coupland said Blossom Blight, Brown Rot and Botrytis are the three main forms of fungus growers will be watching for. Another concern growers may face is water around the roots of the tree.
"Cherries can get wet feet, they can die of wet feet, however at this stage I don't think we'll see much of that,” he said.
“Most growers in the wet country have got plums.
“However, I think it's extremely important that growers get their Foley and nutrition right, that could be extremely important this year, so they probably want to be talking to their local agronomist.”
Coupland recalled the last time Young faced a season so wet, costing the entire district an estimated $10 million back in 2010.
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