Last night the weather App showed a thin line of storm clouds snaking along the northern border of Victoria. Red and yellow spots indicated intense activity. One tweet from Mildura showed hail scattered over grass, the size of table tennis balls. Now, our green young walnuts are not much bigger. We are located 100 km south of the Murray river. We hoped the storm clouds would pass harmlessly to our north. If hail were to hit our crop, the outcome is certain.
Two years ago, hail hit our neighbours’ apple crops one week prior to harvest. They had huge losses. Even with netting above the crop, ice pooled and cut through. The leaves on our trees were stripped and shredded. The walnuts has been taken two weeks prior to the event.
Last night our season could have stopped. So quick. So complete. After all the preparation and costs.
Instead, we had gentle rain to kiss the trees. One disaster avoided.