Table grape growers expect juicy harvest

South Africa’s table grape growers are expecting a bumper harvest on the back of favourable weather conditions throughout the current growing season and due to well-developed and healthy vineyards.

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The SA Table Grape Industry’s (SATI) second crop estimate for the 2015/2016 season anticipated production of 60,9 million to 62,8 million 4,5kg-cartons.

This was slightly lower than the first estimate of 61,3 million to 63,2 million cartons. SATI attributed the decrease to lighter bunch weights experienced in the early season table grape varieties being harvested in the Orange River Valley.

“The Northern Provinces, having escaped a flash hailstorm in the region, have progressed well with their crop and remain confident that their first estimate will be attained. The Olifants River Valley has started harvesting Flame, Early Sweet, Prime and Starlight and, together with the Berg River region, are on par with their initial estimate volumes,” report SATI.

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It also said the Hex River Valley’s current table grape crop was developing very well, vineyards were healthy and the original estimate remained unchanged.

Final table grape harvests for the past three years were 53 879 865 cartons for the 2012/2013 season, 50 548 814 cartons for the 2013/2014 season, and 59 379 279 cartons for the 2014/15 season.