Hail hits Goulburn Valley fruit crop again

Damage has been caused to pear orchids as another hail storm hit the Goulburn Valley last week, presenting another blow to Victorian pear growers.

A meeting was held by Fruit Growers Victoria (FGV) following the previous hailstorm in the area, to discuss and share useful information on the best method through which affected orchids can best be managed.

According to FGV’s Tony Filippi, “Help is available to growers, so we would encourage fellow farmers not to hesitate to give someone a call if they would like to chat to someone who can help.”

Hail caused extensive damage to Australia's major pear growing region, in Victoria's north-east in October this year.

The damage was sustained to the orchards at Mooroopna, in the Goulburn Valley, responsible for 90 per cent of the country's pear production.

Filippi said the damage ranged from trees stripped of fruit to superficial markings which affect the fruit’s saleability in fresh fruit markets.

“A co-ordinated, industry response would help growers approach buyers to seek a variation in quality standards .It should benefit everyone if we can get a variation in the standards for what is normally required.’’

“We’re collating information about what has happened and we want to get a better idea of the number of growers affected and the extent of damage to crops.’’

FGV is also preparing a submission to the Victorian Government for hail net subsidies. Data collection on crop loads would also assist in the success of this submission.

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