Hot dry weather persisting since early in January coupled with endless waves of work in the farms and ongoing testing and trying new and bets in class dried vine fruit agronomy, has led to an excellent crop that is either being harvested now, or through April. With the addition of our Colignan property for this growing season our fleet of 2 Twin Row Harvesters and 2 Single Row Harvesters are working harder than any of the footballers who have just kicked off the 2016 AFL season.
Leading up to harvest there has been little going on, the watering program is reduced to aid in drying and the nutrition program also takes a break as we trigger the vines response to accumulate sugars into the fruit.
As the fruit comes off the vine we follow up with the post-harvest water and nutrition plans across these patches. This part of the program is targeted at the secondary root flush going into the Autumn weather conditions and is designed to assist the vines in accumulating carbohydrates in the vine wood prior to the vines dormancy in winter. This accumulation phase is important as this is the energy store that the vine calls upon for positive and healthy bud burst in Spring.
The teams located across our vineyards are working hard to maximise the level of efficiencies in relation to our harvest conditions. At the moment they are juggling the mechanical harvesting of bulk fruit product, managing the cluster picking teams, transportation between facilities and monitoring the quality of fruit receivals at the warehouse.
Our new B-Double truck has been a fantastic addition, as it improves the timely management of bin deliveries to farms, fruit pick-ups and deliveries to our cool chain and factory.