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Stone fruit growers hope rain will stay away after showers destroyed some apricots

Stone fruit producers in the Victorian Mallee are praying rain will stay away after showers last week destroyed fruit on the cusp of being harvested.

Parts of the Mallee are in a one in 20 year rainfall deficiency, but producers say rain at this time of year will do more harm than good.

Stone fruit grower Michael Tripodi said showers last week wiped out some of his apricots and he hopes this week’s storms will miss his region.

“Fingers crossed it’s going to miss us, it will definitely do some damage,” he said.

“The last 20mm we had a week ago ripened our apricots too early and they became spongy because all of the nitrogen that’s in the skins.

“And on the peaches and nectarines, it depends how much rain you get it could do some damage but we’ll have to wait and see what happens.”