Mixed conditions for South African grape development

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Mixed conditions for South African grape development

South Africa's grape growing regions have experienced mixed weather conditions that will impact on crops, according to a pre-season sumary released by the South African Table Grape Industry (SATI). uvas_63563602 - panorama

Cold weather has slowed down the growth of early season varieties in the Hex River Valley region, which has historically had the highest volumes. However, bud breaks have been good.

Frosts over the weekend have led to extensive damages in the country's second-biggest grape region from a volume perspective - Orange River. It is estimated this will lead to a crop loss of 5-15%.

"However it is too early to give an accurate estimate to determine the full extent of the losses. This figure will be reviewed in the next 3 weeks," SATI said in a trade newsletter.

Elsewhere, bud breaks on early and mid-season varieties have been "somewhat uneven" in the Berg River region due to cold and wet conditions.

"The soil is also extremely wet in most areas, with the result that soil temperatures cannot increase significantly to promote root activity yet."

In the two regions that account for the lowest volumes in South Africa, Northern Province and Oliphants River, weather has been a bit better with a more positive outlook for early fruit development.

"The start of the season [in the Northern Province region] has been characterised by very hot weather conditions. Flowering on most varieties occurred 3-4 days earlier than in the 2012/13 season. The thinning of bunches on most varieties have been completed whilst berry enlargement is already underway on Prime.

Early varieties are growing "exceptionally well" in the Oliphants River region with flowering expected to start in around two weeks.

"The growth of mid-season varieties has been delayed by the recent cold and wet weather spells."






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