Another challenging season draws to an end. Some areas of South Africa continue to experience terrible drought, and other areas heavy rains and even flooding. However, we firmly believe that there are exciting prospects on the horizon.

We warmly welcome two new additions to our Sunshine team. Sales Manager, Breyden Carrol, who many of our growers have already met. Forestry Manager, Marc Crookes. Marc has nursery experience and will continue supplying quality plants, and also improve communication and delivery. Marc will initially be responsible for the forestry seedlings and then the clonal section.

Bryn will still be involved in the forestry section on an operational level and will assist Marc where needed.

We have dispatched our two new GXU clones on a commercial scale. Both GXU 400 and 412 are doing very well and we look forward to introducing two new GXN into the market place during the season.

We are very excited about the new wattle clones that are in the process of being bulked up for commercial deployment. The selections will be Rust tolerant and should be available for trial purposes in the 2018 planting season. The frost tolerant wattle will be available further down the line after further testing and selection.

The wattle clones should be tolerant to the rust as they have been selected from parents that showed good growth and tolerance to the disease. The wattle would have to be planted at a similar spacing to the commercial Eucalyptus stands as the price of the wattle clones would be comparable to our existing clonal material. There will be no need for thinning out as all material is genetically superior. The wattle clones should also produce a very uniform stand as they are all theoretically identical.

We will endeavor to supple our regular customers with the wattle clonal material first.

There are also a number of new hybrids that are being tested for the drier areas. These hybrids should be available for deployment in the next year or so. As these hybrids develop we will give our growers feedback.

We would aslo suggest that growers who are planting E.nitens look at E.badgensis or alternatively a GXN clone. The Cross moth-Coryphodema tristis is creating wide spread devastation across large areas of E.nitens. Please have a look at the webpage link below.

www.fao.org/forestry/8388-063f5d6dd51590d1660a5eaee50379326.pdf

We continue to make good inroads as far as the rooting of the clones is concerned and you will be pleased to know as a result we will be increasing the price of our clones by only +-3% this season. We believe that our clonal material is some of the best out there. Our seedling prices however have increased by an average of 7.5%.

We would encourage growers to place orders early for clonal material in particular. We would also like to remind growers that our account holders with approved credit applications will receive a 10% discount on the price of the plants, if the order is placed and a third deposit is paid by the 31st July 2017.

We look forward to a wet and busy 2017/18 season.

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