Hello all,

We are experiencing a lovely warm spell for this time of the year, and
St. Valentine's Day. Although warm, the trees are not so advanced as
they were a few years ago, when the first Victoria plum trees started
flowering at this time. So, at the moment it looks as though (assuming
the weather does not remain warm for too long) we will have an early
spring, but not one for the record books, which is a relief, as we have
often had damaging frosts in early May, which is still a long way off.

On our own farm we still have apples in store, and thanks to the
Smartfresh treatment, they are really excellent. In fact, they seem to
stay that fresh that I need to add far fewer high-acid apples to my
juice to get a nice balance between sweetness and acidity. My only
problem is to figure out what to do with the high acid apples.

In general growers were happy with apple demand this year, but are very
concerned about the rising costs of fertiliser (linked to oil prices it
seems), and agrochemicals. However, labour is still the number one cost,
and it looks likely to remain that way. At least in Ireland it is
possible to get labour, whereas in the UK and Holland, it can be very
difficult.

I would be interested to hear what prospects are like in other parts of
the World, and how the spring is shaping up. Right now I've got to go
out and do a bit of work.

Con Traas

 

 

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