Australia: Bushfire smoke haze results in late tomato season

It is a longer-than-usual wait for tomatoes in the Meander Valley, caused by the recent smoke haze and resulting cooler temperatures.

Selbourne farmer Annette Reed of Tasmanian Natural Garlic and Tomatoes said a large amount of fruit appeared on their vines early in the season but was now taking longer to ripen, resulting in a late season.

She said they were doing everything they could to ripen the fruit.

"We should be in full swing, we should be shipping out hundreds of kilos of tomatoes by now. I did a pick this morning and I was scratching around to get two kilos for an order," Mrs Reed said.

"We need warmer temperatures. We need sun. Even when we had what would of been those hotter days, the smoke haze has shut out the sun and cooled the temperatures," she said.

"After last season we are better prepared than we ever have been for heat waves, with shading and sprinkler systems set up throughout our tunnels, but we've just taken the tunnels away."

Read more at The Examiner (Isabel Bird)


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