Murray River Organics Group (ASX:MRG) - CEO and Managing Director, Valentina Tripp
CEO and Managing Director, Valentina Tripp
Source: Sunraysia Daily
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  • Murray River Organics Group (MRG) has provided an update on its 2020 harvest, detailing the ups and downs of the season
  • The company has completed wine grape and hemp harvests at its Nangiloc property
  • MRG is also in the process of harvesting its fresh table grape, dried vine fruit, and citrus crops
  • Crop yields and prices have fluctuated up and down for different harvests, due to COVID-19, improved irrigation, and weather
  • Murray River Organics Group shares are 8.33 per cent higher at two cents per share

Murray River Organics Group (MRG) has provided an update on its 2020 harvest, detailing ups and downs of the season.

The company has already completed harvesting two different crops from its Nangiloc property. One of these is MRG’s wine grape harvest, which yielded a total of 1223 tonnes.

This year’s wine grape yield is 40 per cent higher than last season’s. The company attributed this increase to improved nutrition and irrigation management. The harvest’s market pricing has also improved, with the average price per tonne 25 per cent higher than last season.

The other harvest which MRG completed at Nangiloc is its hemp crop, which yielded approximately 20 tonnes. This yield is in line with the company’s expectations, although the crop’s seed quality is higher than expected. Those harvested seeds have not yet undergone final processing.

MRG’s crops of fresh table grapes and dried vine fruits are both 95 per cent harvested, but with very different results. 

The fresh table grapes have exhibited good quality, and a yield increase that is 30 per cent higher than last year. This is on top of a 74 per cent yield increase in 2019, compared to 2018’s harvest. 

Much like the wine grape harvest, the company credited the increases to improved nutrition and irrigation. The fresh table grape crop also benefitted from a new farm leadership team and improved operational management.

MRG experienced lower pricing in its primary market for fresh table grapes, China, due to an overabundance of the fruit. This was caused by COVID-19 related closures in other parts of Asia, which would usually provide a market for the grapes.

In comparison, the 95 per cent complete dried vine fruit harvest suffered far worse. MRG expects that this year’s crop yield will be less than last season’s, due to severe heat which damaged berries in December and January. 

Furthermore, a difficult cool-drying season and rain in March and April reduced the availability of light-coloured fruit. Most fruit in Sunraysia’s dried vine industry was graded as ‘brown’ as a result of the poor conditions.

To compensate for the decreased yield, MRG is assessing two small areas of non-preferred varieties for potential harvesting. Due to the wet season, the company has also commissioned five dehydrating units at its Mourquong facility. This will create acceptable moisture levels for 2020’s dried vine fruit crop.

That said, 70 per cent of the dried vine crop expected for 2020 has already been contracted. Despite limited availability, pricing is stronger (by as much as $400) due to crop shortages.

MRG has only harvested 20 per cent of its citrus crop at Nangiloc, with another citrus harvest at the Gol Gol farm starting this week. 

The company is continuing with its strict preventative measures against COVID-19 at all sites. This includes social distancing, split production teams, limited site visitors, and remote working where possible. 

Murray River Organics Group shares are 8.33 per cent higher at two cents per share.

MRG by the numbers
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