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Friday, January 06, 2006

Winds wipe out apricot, cherry crops. 06/01/2006. ABC News Online

Winds wipe out apricot, cherry crops. 06/01/2006. ABC News Online

Tasmanian apricot and cherry crops have been damaged by wild winds and rain during the Christmas break.

President of the Tasmanian Stone Fruit Association Heather Chong says much of what is left on the trees is unsuitable to send to local supermarkets.

"The wind tends to rub them on the tree next to the branches, so they're not ripe but then go soft," Ms Chong said.

"It's very depressing because they look good but then you pick them and they're soft and squishy."

Ms Chong says she has had to cancel plans to export the fruit.

"For us, we usually export a reasonable amount to Europe," she said.

"We haven't done any exporting this year because I didn't want to risk sending the fruit over there and having it damaged.

"I basically talked to the people I deal with in the UK and said I wouldn't be sending any rather than risking sending bad fruit."

An abundance of fruit interstate means apricot prices in Australia are unlikely to rise.

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