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TAS Country : March 24th 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011 Tasmanian Country 5 News FULL STEAM AHEAD: Veronica Dean drives a tractor as harvest gets into full swing. HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE: Ian Edwards in the family's hop vines at Branxholm. Pictures: KAROLIN MacGREGOR TASTY: Sheep enjoy the hop harvest. Mr Edwards said that, on average, hops yielded about 1200kg an acre. The Edwards family grow two main hop varieties. Unlike many other crops, hops do not need to be replanted each year. Mr Edwards said they had hops that had been continually producing every year for more than three decades. Each year new strings are added to the wire lines above each row of hops in the paddocks. ''You've got a lot of infrastructure sitting out there in the paddocks,'' Mr Edwards said. ''A lot of this only gets used for three weeks a year, but there's no way around it.'' He said these days producers were paid according to the amount of alpha acids in the hops. ''That's why we try to keep the quality up because that's what we're actually getting paid for,'' Mr Edwards said. ''We do a bit of pre-harvest testing to make sure it's right and they're matur- ing OK before we start.'' Hops had a small harvest window time when their quality was at the correct levels, he said. Mr Edwards said while it made things unpleasant for the harvest wor- kers, rain at this stage would not affect the crop. Tasmania has just a small number of hop-growing operations left, but Mr Edwards said in other countries it was a huge industry. ''In Germany they had 5000 acres of hops wiped out with hail and it didn't even change the price,'' he said. The Edwards' hops are sold through a mainland-based company. ''If we can get a reasonable price we like to try and get it for three or four years because that way we know what's happening,'' he said. $34,950* SAVE $3,350 OFF RRP $19,950* SAVE $2,450 OFF RRP 6 PIECE PACKAGE INCLUDES NEW AGMAX 4-in-1 Front End Loader, SWL 300kg NEW AGMAX 3'6" Slasher NEW AGMAX 3'6" Rotary Hoe NEW AGMAX 4' Carryall NEW AGMAX Towbar & Ball 6 4 PIECE PACKAGE INCLUDES NEW APOLLO Sunroof NEW APOLLO X60 4-in-1 Front End Loader, SWL 1200kg NEW APOLLO X60 Pallet & Bale Fork Combo Need more power? The best value 80Hp tractor in Australia is here! $123 per week! 4 N N 888 $174 per week! NEW MODEL
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