Agriculture

SA raisin industry suffers production losses due to above average rainfall

The South African raisin industry has been exposed to adverse climate conditions over the past month, with heavy rainfalls since the start of 2022, along with looming flooding conditions.

Raisins South Africa’s initial crop forecast was 78 000 marketable product (86 000 ton farmers’ stock). The forecast was based on vineyard conditions towards the end of 2021 as indicated by Ferdie Botha of Raisins South Africa.

“Damages caused by high flows in the Orange River’s, was limited to approximately 3% of total raisin hectares. The river has since been declining to levels that do not pose any risks at this stage. Over the past two weeks, Raisins SA has concluded on-farm assessments to measure actual damages suffered over the same period.”

Stefan Jordaan, agri-specialist of Raisins SA, said that initially brix levels of grapes were still low, even on Sultana’s, with the season being 10 days late, and first rains having minimal impact on the crop.

“However, showers towards the end of January and early February 2022 have had a significant impact. Accordingly, our initial crop forecast has now been adjusted downwards. From our field assessments, the official crop size is now reduced to 65 000 ton marketable material (72 000 ton farmers’ stock) for sales for the 2021/22 season,” said Jordaan. Raisins SA will continue to monitor the remainder of the harvesting season and communicate accordingly as the 2021/22 season progresses.

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