CAN YOU HEAR THOSE SLEIGH BELLS RINGING? WHO CAN BELIEVE ANOTHER YEAR HAS PASSED AND CHRISTMAS IS UPON US?
We have a real treat for you this edition with our feature article, “An Insight from Daryl Lohey”. Daryl and Susie Lohrey (Lohrey Pastoral Co) grow potatoes for McCain and Simplot and are clients of Cherry Hill. We spoke to Daryl to get an insight into their potato growing practices. Daryl shares some great tips for December and discusses climate variation, water shortages and more.
This edition you will be introduced to Christine Murfet from our trimming line and Kevin provides us with an update of his recent trip abroad.
We hope the silly season treats you well, Brenden and the team at Cherry Hill Coolstores
IN THIS ISSUE
||A Slice of Life with us at CHC
||An insight from Daryl Lohrey
||Kevin Goes Abroad
Read on for these great articles and much more…
With Christmas just around the corner, we’re delighted to report that up until the end of October we have cut 8,305 tonne of seed, and during November we have another 1,000 tonne to go. That’s a total of over 9,300 tonne of Tasmanian seed potatoes for 2015. Seed out of the coolstore has predominantly been very good, and has stored well. There was a minor glitch with Russet Burbank seed, where we discovered a small percentage in one line that had fusarium. Brenden and team worked through this issue with growers and field officers, at no charge to growers, to achieve an acceptable outcome.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and we trust that your potato crops will be as plentiful as your celebrations on Christmas Day.
Best wishes, Andrew, Brenden and Pam, Cherry Hill Coolstores.
CHERRY HILL COOLSTORES SEED GUARANTEE
Our Seed Management Services. Cherry Hill Coolstores will guarantee our services on Seed Growers seed. If you buy someone else’s certified seed, which is presented to Cherry Hill in good condition, and it breaks down, we will replace our cutting and services at no charge.
This guarantee specifically refers to seed piece breakdown (i.e. rot), and refers to seed which is delivered directly to Cherry Hill Coolstores from the seed paddock for chemical application, coolstoring and cutting. In order for this guarantee to be valid, the Buyer must make claims within 24-hours of the seed leaving Cherry Hill Coolstores and before planting.
In order for this guarantee to be valid, the buyer must make claims with 24 hours of the seed leaving Cherry Hill and before planting.
A SLICE OF LIFE AT CHERRY HILL – INTRODUCING CHRISTINE FROM THE TRIMMING LINE
This edition we met with Christine Murfter, another of our wonderful ‘girls’ from the cutting shed. A quick insight into her day and life outside of work here at the Cherry Hill Coolstores:
A local lass, Christine is coming into her seventh season at Cherry Hill having joined us in 2009.
Growing up in Latrobe and now living in Devonport, Christine has done a lot of travelling before joining us. For 30 years Christine has supported her husband, who was in the defence force as an Airforce Paramedic. They had various posts around Australia and the world, including a lengthy stint in Malaysia for 18 months.
Now a typical day for Christine is joining the girls on the trimming line. She performs all duties of the cutting stations including clean up and wash down every second day. Rotating through with the rest of the team.
After hours you can find Christine relaxing – she enjoys knitting, reading and cooking. She has a few great Asian recipes up her sleeve now after her travels overseas. The lunch room always smells divine when Christine is working!
TESTIMONIAL … “THEIR STRENGTH IS THEIR STAFF”
“I have been planting and growing potatoes for 23 years for McCains. Dealing with Cherry Hill Cool Stores has always been a pleasant experience with their ability to semi hand cut seed. This enables them to pick up on any problems and deal with them promptly. Their strength is their staff and Brendan is always on the ball with advice on seed lines, cutting dates and has a professional attitude to his job”
Stephen Dick. Director of SJ & DM Dick PTY LTD
AN INSIGHT FROM DARYL LOHREY
Daryl and Susie Lohrey (Lohrey Pastoral Co) grow potatoes for McCain and Simplot and are clients of Cherry Hill. We spoke to Daryl to get an insight into their potato growing practices.
We started by examining a batch of seed potatoes with Daryl that had a low stem number. Just like pruning a tree to stimulate growth, individual shoots on a seed potato can be broken off and further aged, which inspires them to shoot again – often increasing the stem numbers to three.
Daryl mainly grows Russet Burbank and Innovator potatoes. After the seed is hand cut, it is then stored at Cherry Hill Coolstores. Shoots appear when the seed breaks dormancy after winter, and Daryl likes to break off any shoots in November at planting for those varieties that have a low stem number.
“Once you get a handle on the ageing process, you can manipulate the number of stems. And getting the right amount of stems per hectare, is what it’s all about”
Thoughts for December:
Growers should be thinking about seed in December and January onwards, for the following year (if not all year round!) Find out the location where your seed will be grown. Visit the paddock and, this year in particular (with a dry season), check early for common scab or stressed-looking crops. With Russet Burbank seed for example, stress is caused by a lack of water and this may dramatically age the crop. If your seed crop isn’t looking healthy, now is the time to take action.
There are many growers who have cut back on planting as much seed as in the past, and Daryl is one of them. In his opinion, it’s better (financially) in drought conditions to cut your losses now and discard a percentage of seed at the start of the season – rather than invest time and money into irrigation and fertiliser for a crop that you know you won’t be able to look after.
Note: fully irrigate the crop at the start of the season for its full requirements, rationing water in the beginning of the season may lead to scab problems.
Inspections of your seed:
Seed inspections are very important this year for seed growers, to avoid disease problems. A lot of seed was planted 2-weeks earlier this year because of good conditions, which is fortunate now with the shortage of water expected until February/March next year on the North West Coast.
There are always cycles in weather patterns and this year presents similar conditions to that of 2007. We’ve experienced an increase of temperature and less rain is forecast for Summer. But climate change aside, the current political environment presents many opportunities to growers. Daryl’s advice is to embrace this, know your options and find opportunities that suit your business needs.
“Climate change can be viewed as an industry. And it doesn’t matter whether you believe in it or not – or whether it’s real or not – but it’s the way the world is changing, and we should embrace it and look for opportunities for our businesses.”
Strategies for the dry season ahead:
Cut back your production to suit the current drought conditions, and explore opportunities to plant seed varieties that require less water. Daryl wouldn’t recommend rationing water to seed crops, as this can lead to an inferior product at the end of the season.
We thank Daryl for his expert advice during this drier season, and wish our growers the best of luck for the tough months ahead. Please don’t hesitate to contact Cherry Hill for advice at any stage, to help ensure your seed is the best it can be.
Images: Top left – Daryl handles the batch of seed potatoes with low stem. Bottom right – Equipped with LED lights and a GPS, Daryl’s planter also includes six cameras that monitor any blockages, and for any misses or double-ups of seed.
KEVIN GOES ABROAD…
During July and August this year I was fortunate enough to travel by car from Rockhampton (QLD) across to Broome (WA) with my wife.
We spent two weeks in Broome and one week in Kunanurra, which gave me the opportunity to visit the Kimberley region. We also visited the Kunanurra Agricultural Area and many other tourist sites showing the pearl industry history, and the current activities in Broome and the Argyle Diamond Mine near Lake Argyle.
Firstly, I must admit it was very difficult getting my wife to leave the very attractive pearl shops in Broome and also the diamond shop in Kunanurra before too much damage was done to our travel budget! I did manage to convince her that the pink diamonds had too many faults – mainly that they’re too expensive.
After we left Rockhampton we drove across into mid western Queensland, most of which remains in drought conditions and looking fairly depressing from an agricultural point of view. Upon reaching the Northern Territory, there was evidence of recent rains increasing across into Western Australia and the Kimberley region.
I can see why our government is flagging the Kunanurra region as a possible food bowl of the future. Lake Argyle is a huge catchment of fresh water – the largest fresh water lake in Australia – with a large 46,100 square km catchment area and a 703 square km surface area. The Ord and Bow rivers flow into it and the dam wall completed in 1971 is 98 metres high and 335 metres long. In 1996 they raised the spillway by a further six metres, thereby doubling the lakes volume capacity.
The main crops grown are Indian sandalwood, melons, mangoes, pumpkins and various salad and veggie greens. Cotton, safflower and rice are under trial again. We did not see any sugar cane.
This is a very impressive area with good soil, flat land and plenty of water. However, the insect pests are large and plentiful, making it difficult to get good quality disease-free root vegetables grown in that climate at competitive prices. Modern agricultural science might need to play a pivotal role in making that achievable.
We were a leisurely eight days travelling back across the top end to Cairns, where we spent time before heading south to the boat and home.
On the journey south, we travelled down on the Bruce Highway to Maryborough, on the New England Highway to Cowra, and on the Olympic Highway through Wagga Wagga to Victoria. I must say all agricultural areas looked fantastic – particularly the canola, mustard, wheat and oats. It looked like they will enjoy a good harvest. The pastures looked very picturesque. It was an enjoyable journey to our boat trip home.
Kevin is now retired, however can regularly be found out at the Cherry Hill Coolstores. He lives in East Devonport and would describe himself as very happily retired with still a key interest in Cherry Hill. Andrew regularly refers to Kevin for his advice and opinions.
IT’S TIME TO SAY GOODBYE – CHERRY HILL RETIREMENTS
Since our last edition we have farewelled two of our fabulous staff who have gone into retirement.
We’d like to express our thanks to Peter “Buck” Lunson (pictured left) and Steve “Mitch” Mitchell (pictured right) who were both a big part of our Cherry Hill family for nearly two decades (combined they provided 30 years of service).
Working with the boys, made each day a pleasure.
They will be missed!
Please note that some months ago we changed banks to the ANZ (a few customers have still been using our old details so please update your records as we now have new banking details).
Please note these are now:
BSB 017 536 Account no. 3972 26402
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