Riverina floods causing fruit drop, says Citrus Australia
While it is still too early to give an indication of the full impact of the floods, the levels of water are unprecedented for the area in recent history.
"The flooding that has happened in the Riverina area of New South Wales is something that hasn’t been seen before; we’ve been told by growers that they’ve never seen Griffith flood like this," she tells www.freshfruitportal.com.
"The effect on the crop is yet to be seen as different areas have been hit in different ways, but with plants waterlogged they’ve started to see fruit drop and leaf drop.
"We are now making fact sheets for growers to learn from the experience that Queensland had with their floods last year, as growers there went through something similar; we're still working on it and we’ll be finished shortly.
She says the impact has mostly been on Valencia crops.
"They’re about 50% through their Valencia harvest and that means there was still a lot of fruit on trees, and we'll have to see what the longer term impact is on those trees -we are yet to see the impact on the upcoming navel crop.
"In the affected areas there are a lot of people pumping out water, helping neighbors, and we’re hearing lots of complaints about what the emergency services are and aren’t doing. This is an area that is not used to natural disasters and its going to be a test to recover."
She says crop loss estimates will likely be released in one or two weeks, provided there aren't further rains and teams are able to access the area.
Meanwhile, growers in the region have voted that organization Riverina Citrus be wound up, with 170 for and 102 against.