KAGOME’S tomato harvest is in full swing. Australia’s largest tomato processor started harvesting crops near Echuca on January 31.
About 44,000 tonnes of tomatoes have already been harvested of the expected 192,000 tonnes across 1818ha, including Echuca and as far as Mathoura, Lake Boga and Corop.
Chief executive Jason Fritsch said the growing season was punctuated by the record rain event (120mm in 24 hrs) around Echuca on December 2.
“This single weather event has had a significant impact on crops that were planted early and we are now harvesting these same crops at yields below budget,” he said.
“And despite the hot weather experienced in late January and early February, the fruit quality that has been harvested and processed has been very good.
“Tomatoes are currently processed into diced tomatoes or a tomato paste 11 hours after they have been harvested from the vine.
“You can’t get much fresher than that.”