Orchardists in central Victoria say this year’s harvest is significantly earlier than in previous years.
Harcourt apple growers are beginning to harvest the fuji variety of apples this week.
The Harcourt Fruitgrowers Association says the early start could help many growers who have built up high debts during the drought.
The association says growers are hoping to take advantage of the early harvest and sell fruit quickly to pay off the debts.
President Trevor Peeler says the harvest is up to 10 days earlier than normal.
“The fruit’s ripened somewhat earlier than it has for the past few years. We think mainly it was due to the heatwave we had early in the period and then the reasonably good follow-up rains,” he said.