AU: Growers trying to avoid roast onions

After surviving last month's heatwave, onion growers in southern NSW are hopeful crops will pull through another week of days above 40-degrees.

On Neil Wiseman's organic farm at Coleambally in the Riverina, workers have been hand-picking onions since November.

He says despite the high temperatures, the onions have been storing well. "We've got onions in the shed now that have come through the first lot of heat and they seem to have dried down. But we did keep moisture up to them, and pick them a little early, so that the tops aren't dry and they transpire and that keeps them cool."

This year he expect to harvest around 200 tonnes.

Mr Wiseman says it's not a big amount, but for the niche organic market, the supply is ample. "It's not about producing masses of tonnes, it's about selling what you produce. That's how I look at it.

"Last year we threw out 30 to 40 tonnes that didn't make the grade, but we did put a fair bit into Foodbank."


Publication date: 2/4/2014