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AUSTRALIA : Dry season rain changes plans for Top End mango growers

NT Country Hour 

Posted about 9 hours ago


While predicted heavy rain did not eventuate across the Top End over the weekend, there was enough to cause some concern to mango growers.

Rain increases the risk of disease so many growers have brought forward the application of fungicide.

00:00 AUDIO: Mango grower Trevor Lake and banana grower Bruce Patterson discuss recent unseasonal rain (ABC Rural)

Harvest Fresh Fruit orchard manager Trevor Lake said the 17.5mm that fell at Berry Springs was not as worrying as the anticipated above average night time temperatures.

"The main thing is anthracnose around flowering time so I have to bring forward my scheduled fungicide spray," Mr Lake said.

"I've got a few flowers out right now so we want to protect those.

"We need temperatures below 20 degrees to induce flowering.

"We've had high night time temperatures for the past week.

"That's more of concern than the rain."

David Matthews from the Bureau of Meteorology is not expecting a reprieve any time soon.

"The long-term
climate models, with the presence of El Nino and the slightly warmers waters in the Indian ocean, are suggesting there's a good chance we'll see above average overnight temperatures," he said.

In Arnhem Land, Yirrkala received 125 millimetres of rain over the past 24 hours to 9am this morning.

Bruce Patterson from Yirrkala Banana Farm said while it was unseasonal, the late rain was not that uncommon.

He said this latest drop was welcome.

"It means I don't have to run my irrigation pumps and it settles the dust.

"We've just starting getting our first fires so that'll stop for awhile."

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