Villiersdorp growers take the lion’s share of Two-a-Day’s 2022 best producer awards.
With four awards in the 2022 Two-a-Day producer awards held on June, 14 2023, Stettyn Wingerde, in Villiersdorp, farmed by Hendrik and Wena Botha, is the single most awarded producer this year.
They won the DH Cunningham trophy for producing the highest number of high quality 18.25kg apple cartons per planted hectare. All full Two-a-Day shareholders with total planted hectares equal to or greater than 10ha qualify for this trophy. Stettyn Wingerde delivered 2,278 18.25kg cartons Class 1 apples per planted hectare.
The Tru-Cape Apple Award for the highest average income per bearing hectare for apples and pears also goes to Stettyn Wingerde. Bearing hectares are calculated to compensate for the yield curve as younger orchards come into production.
The Two-a-Day Apple Award for the highest average income per hectare for apples goes to Stettyn Wingerde. The Tru-Cape Apple and Pear Award for the highest average income per bearing hectare goes to Stettyn Wingerde.
Hendrik Botha, of Stettyn Wingerde, says that the awards are very positive for him and the Stettyn Wingerde team saying: “The plans that Two-a-Day and Graeme Krige shared at the pre-harvest meeting have now been put into action. It is good to see that when we do so it helps to achieve positive results. Other members of the team said the awards meant that Stettyn Wingerde was on the right track to continue to move forwards and that we are now reaping what we have sown. This is the second year in a row that I’m comfortable that we have produced competitive fruit that is a good marketable product by Tru-Cape,” Hendrik Botha ends.
GA Erasmus and Sons Farm won two awards this year. The award for the highest average income per bearing hectare for pears as well as the highest income per planted hectare for pears winning both the Two-a-Day Pear award and the Tru-Cape Pear award.
Also winning two awards, Stettyn Estate, also in Villiersdorp but farmed by Anthonie Botha, took the A J A Simpson trophy for the least Class 3 fruit delivered, which means more Class 1 and Class 2 etc. fruit than any other grower, Stettyn Estate only delivered 9.6% Class 3 so effectively delivered 90.4% of the top classes.
Full Two-a-Day shareholders with 5ha or more apples in the ground, who achieved a minimum 45 tons per planted apple hectare, qualify for the Fruitmax Agri award for on-tree quality and Stettyn Estate also took this award achieving 53.2% on-tree export quality.
The accuracy of crop estimates is important as packhouses and marketers plan potential volume based on these estimates. Kootjie Viljoen of Oewerzicht won the J Rawbone-Viljoen Trophy for only having a 9.5% deviation across nine varieties included in a rather complicated set of calculations taking accuracy, volume and complexity into account.
The Two-a-Day Chairmans’ Trophy for the farming unit with the highest average income, combined for apples and pears, per planted hectare, was awarded to Helderfontein Farm.
The criteria for the Stewart Murray Champagne Orchard Trophy changes every season. Some seasons this award goes to a unique orchard in the Two-a-Day Group; this is also the case for 2022.
The 2022 Champagne Orchard Award goes to an exceptional Cripps Red orchard on Dunmanway Farm. James Downes, of Dunmanway, says the award was for a 1.5ha Cripps Red orchard that was planted in 2016 on a MM109 rootstock and planted at 4.4 x 1 meters or 2,272 trees per hectare.
He used Granny Smith as a pollinator in every third tree and in every third row (11.1%). “In the first and second leafs I cut back aiming for four meter tree height. In 2022, we hand thinned to ensure no fruit above the three-meter wire, and we peaked at count 135 with a 94% pack out over multiple pack outs. That year (2022), to help reduce excess vigour, we produced 157 tons per hectare with 128 tons per hectare (81.5%) being orchard run to pack shed. In 2023 the orchard was in seventh leaf and so the fourth crop, which produced 123.2 tons per hectare. Still, no fruit above three meters, but next year to balance crop and tree vigour, we plan to crop above the three-meter line for the first time. The trees are now at 4.5 meters, and we aim to achieve an estimated total production of 135 tons per hectare, or around 110 tons orchard run per hectare on average going forward,” Downes says.
“These awards recognise our best producers who despite the many challenges overcome them all and produce outstanding fruit. The Two-a-Day Group congratulates them all,” says Two-a-Day Group, Managing Director, Attie van Zyl.
“This is the first year that Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing has a named award and it is indicative of how important quality fruit in the right size and variety mix is to continue Tru-Cape’s ability to sell and ship South African apples and pears to more than 105 countries around the world,” Tru-Cape Managing Director, Roelf Pienaar ends.