This month on the farm
November heralds the start of our irrigation campaign and management needs to focus on ascertaining when the optimum time is to start irrigating as this has a direct impact on tree growth and ultimately fruit size. We have installed a number of probes in our orchards that give continuous readings indicating soil moisture and giving us a good indication of when the tree requires it's first watering, after this the growth stage of the tree combined with weather conditions determines the seasonal scheduling per orchard. With over 2000 different irrigation blocks on our farms the attention to detail provided by our computer control systems plays a big role in accurate and effective irrigation scheduling.
The fertilizer program also kicks in during this month, with the post harvest reserves running out we need to ensure that the tree has the vital nutrients available. The timing and volume available is critical in ensuring that the different growth stages of the tree can be carried out optimally.
The farms need to give an accurate estimate to our colleague's involved in the packing and marketing side of the business so that they can plan their activities for the 2012 crop. It looks promising at this early stage of the season and we await the first estimates before we make our initial predictions.
The Blueberry harvest is in full swing and we have picked over 20 tons to date with the fruit packed and shipped to the UK.