Horticulture

Apple harvest comes to a close

By Country News

Growers across the Goulburn Valley have finished picking apples as the season comes to a close with the arrival of winter.

Integrity Fruits orchardist Peter Hall said he had just finished picking apples for juice last week, and the last of the red apples the week prior.

“I think it was a fairly steady season, we didn’t have too many adverse rain events and it was a mild summer — temperatures weren’t too extreme,” Mr Hall said.

“From a grower's point of view, we produced good quality fruit.

“It was cold just before harvest, so that helped create high-coloured apples.

“We've had plenty of labour and got the fruit off in good time.”

Mr Hall said social distancing was not an issue this season, as workers in orchards were separated by rows of fruit trees.

Alex Turnbull from Turnbull Brothers Orchard agreed that high quality fruit was harvested this season.

“The yield was down quite a bit, but it's made up for in the quality and size that we get to market,” Mr Turnbull said.

“In the Goulburn Valley, most people had a high yield the year before after a hot summer, and trees with high yields have biannual bearing, so that’s probably the biggest factor leading to less fruit.”

Across two properties, Turnbull Brothers Orchards harvested 6500 bins of apples over the past two-and-a-half months, including about 4000 bins of Pink Lady, 1500 bins of Granny Smith and 1000 bins of Modi apples.

“We were fortunate enough to have a good harvest team — Turnbull Brothers Orchard stuck to the restrictions set in place and got through that without issue,” Mr Turnbull said.

Apples harvested from Goulburn Valley orchards will now be packed and delivered to supermarket retailers across Australia.