When it rains it pours. Tikketai has experienced the wettest winter season in a very long time, drenching our fields and drowning broccoli and cauliflower plants of various stages in growth.
The Southern Cape and surrounding areas have received above average rain over an extended period between May and June. An estimated 1,4 million plants were lost by our farmers in a short period of time saturating the soil. Neither could the seedlings be planted out as scheduled as it was still too muddy and drenched. This resulted in a huge reduction in the expected broccoli and cauliflower harvest. Our farmers struggled to apply fertilizer and do pest control on the still viable crops as the land was too soaked.
CEO Burger Gericke says that the constant downpour was followed by cold weather, with night temperatures of between 3° and 7°C for extended periods. “We rarely go much below 8°C”, he states. The cooler temperatures cause slower growth, with harvests being delayed by up to five weeks.
Gericke states with relief that they have surfaced after this challenging season and are back on track with wholesale distribution of first-grade broccoli and cauliflower.
“We are extremely grateful for our customers who bared with us during this difficult time when we could not supply according to their demand. From here on we will continue striving to deliver the quality you associate us with and get those quantities in line with demand”, Gericke says.
Tikketai farmers are currently sowing for harvests planned for end December. The silver lining is that dams are full for the summer season irrigation plans.
The seedlings are emerging and will grow and become the planned harvest for early this summer.