I visited Chile and New Zealand to research harvest of 2014 crop, and it is reported below.
This year, in spring it was chilly, the average temperature in September was 1.3 degrees Celsius lower than 2013, and frost caused damage to the beginning growth in some fields. On the other hand, in summer there was a spell of good weather and did not rain too much, so they were able to catch up the growth delay of spring. It got cold earlier than the normal year in autumn but temperature didn’t fall much by a long rain in the beginning of winter in June, so some growers felt autumn season was long.
In the harvest time of this year, it unusually has much rain. Especially at the beginning of June, it had a lot of rain and a month rainfall was two and a half times more than last year, so some growers had not harvested for a week and were 2 weeks late than their planning. When I visited their field, the weather got fine, so they welcomed me very much because they felt I brought good weather!
[Bulb Condition of This Year]
This year, a spring growth delay was worried about, but they caught up by summer. Growers say so far that they can harvest quantity they planned.
On the other hand, according to the result of my trial harvest over 70 lots, the average of width of sprout was down about 8 % from the previous year, many of them were short and thin. In addition, some varieties already seemed sprouting because of harvest delay, so I really felt necessity of checking condition before shipping and will make an effort to manage each lot condition, it means properly storage and choice of best time to use.
2. New Zealand
It’s said that the climate in recent years is becoming more like “El Nino-Climate” which rain concentrate in short time, even though the annual rainfall is as normal years. This year they have had much rain through the year, and it repeated sunny and rainy, warm and cold days. In spring there was a flood after local severe rain, and some fields were led into lack of oxygen in the ground. In summer it rained much in December and February. The average temperature in January (which means mid-summer in NZ) was 1.4 degrees Celsius lower than last year. They had much rain again in autumn, especially in March and April, as twice or three times as much as normal years. After that, from the week I visited there, it became more winter and I did the field checking under the cold winter sky. However, we can say it is warm winter this year as a mountain which had snow of 2 meter high last year showing its surface now.
[Bulb Condition of This Year]
Many growers said this year was not too hot thanks to rain through a year, comparing last year, which a change of temperature was big by summer’s intense heat and winter’s heavy snow. According to the result of my trial harvest over 65 lots, the average of width of sprout was down about 7 % from the previous year.
On the other hand, recently growers in NZ have tried various new way to cultivate by number of years, time to plant, background of mother bulbs and so on, so condition of enlargement or width of sprout was much different even same areas or varieties.
(I guess the difference by production method was easy to appear to their crops because it was much rain and a difference of weather between each area was small throughout this year.)
Therefore, it got harder to consider bulb quality under circumstance on each location or weather as before. We think we are required more to check each varieties and lots in any fields.
3. Closing remarks
We do not only supply bulbs but also research bulbs in the place of production, and check them at arrival, test them in our test greenhouse, keep them in cooling storage well and so on.
From bulb production to shipping cut flowers, we face to bulbs and try to support you more and more.