Wow, what a difficult year.
Nobody expected conditions quiet as bad as what we have experienced over the last six months. We have definitely felt the effect of the drought in the nursery!
As you are well aware, if orders are placed by the 31 July and a 1/3 deposit is paid for the seedlings by then, we have to have the seedlings ready for orders placed for September, October and November. The lack of rain, and therefore the extended fire season, resulted in us sitting with seedlings, and later throwing away many seedlings over the course of the planting season.
We would suggest to farmers not to place orders for September or October if areas have not been burnt before winter. Over the last two seasons we have seen extended fire seasons and as a result have had to hold seedlings for a longer time than necessary in the nursery.
Seedlings or cuttings, as with any perishable product, have a sell by date. They should be taken within a month of the order date. We generally try and keep stock rolling over, but with species like wattle they quickly become out of spec and the risk of nursery disease is increased because of the competition between seedlings for light on the tables.Other species like E.benthammi, Badgensis, Smithil and Macarthurril have limited markets and are sometimes difficult to find homes for if they are not taken by a farmer.
The clones remain in high demand and if you are wanting to plant material please place an early order. WE have one new clone namely GXU 400 in commercial production. GXU 400 and GXU 412 (later this year) have shown good tolerance to Leptocybe and have very good volume.
We have increased productivity, and efficiency in the nursery and this has allowed us to keep our seedling and cutting increases to an average of only 4.5%.
If you are needing advise on plantings for the coming season please feel free to contact us. We are only too happy to assist where we are able to.
Please note that Rosemary Govender, our Financial Director, has moved to Pietermaritzburg and all account related queries can now be addressed at our Head Office. We hope that we can continue providing you with excellent service.