Dry weather a mixed blessing for Tweed strawberries
CURRENT dry conditions have been a mixed blessing for the region's fruit growers.
David Montgomery, owner of Monty's Strawberries, said he has had to use extra water due to the dry conditions, but the weather has also meant fewer bugs to contend with.
Mr Montgomery said that he had to use a lot of water at both his Dulguigan and Eungella properties to ensure a successful strawberry bounty this season.
"We have a pump and used our own well to get a lot of water into the strawberries. If you don't get your irrigation down pat, your plant will wilt and your plant can go seedy and it can be hard to get them back," he said.
Mr Montgomery said the dry conditions were like a double edged sword.
"The dryness can be good because it keeps the diseases at bay but once the temperature gets to 35 degrees plus, that's really hard, and that's when we shut off and that's why all the Queenslanders have shut down for the season," he said.
Temperatures in Murwillumbah have been as high as 36.4 degrees in October and have averaged 28.4 degrees, 2 degrees higher than the October Average.
"We really hope for good weather to have a good ending to our season," he said.
Luckily for fans of the delicious fruit, which are vine ripened and grown in organic soil, the berries have retained the full flavour that Monty's is famous for.
"It has been a great picking. The berries are beautiful quality, they are sweet and delicious," he said.
Mr Montgomery is a second generation berry farmer, his parents, Kerry and Lorraine Montgomery also farm berries.