20 Dec

Summer storms decimate Australian olive groves

Severe summer storms are rolling across the southern and eastern states, in what is being tipped as one of the biggest weather fronts this year.

In South Australia, olive growers near Pinaroo, in South Australia’s Mallee, have sustained considerable losses, and set their crops back at least two years.

Manager of Barkworth Olive Grove, Ken Schutz says the damage bill there is around $500,000.

“We’ve lost probably 50 per cent of our crop and we had a pretty good crop this year,” he says.

“We were looking forward to the harvest and we also had probably a couple of hundred trees knocked over, which I can deal with that, but the loss of the crop is disappointing, especially when you come out in the grove and you see all the fruit on the trees and you think it’s a fantastic crop, we’ve finally done what we needed to do, and five seconds later she’s half gone”.

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