With the growing season in full swing, it is as busy as it could be outside the harvest crunch period.
Our Victorian hop gardens have experienced a couple of minor setbacks with flooding in some areas and frequent cold spells that slowed initial growth. In contrast, our Tasmanian hop gardens have experienced dry and warm conditions early in the growing season.
Warmer weather combined with the hard work of the teams executing bine control, herbicide, and fertiliser programs are achieving the anticipated results, and the crop is shaping up well. Stringing and training have been completed as scheduled in Tasmania, with a second training pass currently being completed in Victoria.
We have received great operational support from the new agronomy team whose insights have been a big help supporting and guiding our decision making. As a result, we are improving our interpretation of best practice.
Irrigation is now in full swing, and we have implemented CropX sensors in Victoria after an initial trial period in Tasmania. The platform is accessible and easy to interpret, utilising algorithms and weather forecasts to predict water use and recommend irrigation cycles. The greatest advantage is the increase in information available to the teams executing the irrigation cycles, giving them a better understanding of the small differences in soil types and weather impact.