Peak strawberry season clouded by hail and rain

South Australia's Fleurieu region growers are struggling to break even

Hail damage has devastated local strawberry farmers across the Fleurieu region. Recent storms across the peninsula will increase berry prices as growers and suppliers scramble to make ends meet during what should be peak season. Impacts of recent heavy rain, flash flooding, hail, and wind have had a large impact on berry crops across the hills region in South Australia and suppliers to some of the bigger chains.

Farmer and chairperson of Berry Growers South Australia, Ryan Sherry: "80 percent of our 1.5 million strawberry plants are damaged this year. The strawberry is particularly vulnerable to hail damage because the fruit rots on the plant."

"Chatting with local growers, we are one of the lucky ones," Sherry added. "The first bout of hail passed over and didn't really affect us, but the second hailstorm was pretty bad."

"We are lucky in that a large percentage of our business is picking your own (PYO), so it's not such a problem, pickers will go through and eat whatever they can find because they taste amazing, but for shop-front quality, people want the perfect punnet, so hail damage isn't good," he said.

Source: victorharbortimes.com.au


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