Australia’s apple crop has good fortune in bushfire crisis

Posted by Media Release Agency on 7th January 2020

Luckily, one of Australia’s largest apple growers, Montague Fresh, has reported that its orchards in the fire-ravaged Batlow region of NSW have been ‘spared the worst’ of the bushfire crisis that continues to blaze in New South Wales and eastern Victoria.

“It is with great relief and gratitude that we announce only minor damage to our 75 hectare apple orchards in Batlow NSW due to fire over the weekend of January 4 and 5, 2020.  The orchard has over 200,000 apple trees but sustained damage to less than 5000 trees on the boundary of the property because fires were largely contained to areas outside of orchard blocks. In addition, all Montague staff were evacuated prior to the arrival of the fire and no injuries have been reported.” said a Montague spokesperson.

“The Montague team will be working with the local industry to repair any damage and focus on producing a great crop of apples in the coming season.  While these losses will have an impact of apple supply there will be a significant crop of high-quality apples from the Batlow region available for sale across Australian in the coming season.  We are working with the broader Australian apple industry and all apple growers to estimate crop yields for the coming season.” added the spokesperson.

Despite the better-than-expected survival of the Batlow region apple orchards, Australian farming and its agricultural communities have taken an enormous hit from the fire disaster. The Federal Agriculture Minister has indicated today that cattle and sheep stock losses from the recent bushfires will exceed 100,000 as farmers are forced to put down badly injured animals. Nine percent of the national cattle herd and 12 per cent of the national sheep flock live in areas impacted by the fires.