By Nathan Coates
Picking is underway at a commercial bush raisin farm 100km south-east of Alice Springs.
Farmer Max Emery said recent storms had kicked things along, but the season had been slow to start.
"We're having a strange run this year. We've had a very late flowering," Mr Emery said.
"We are now starting to pick and we are getting about half a bucket per day, whereas normally we would have been picking three buckets a day by now."
Mr Emery said a storm a few weeks ago had produced lightning which released nitrogen into the atmosphere and improved the crop's flowering capability.
"Without that we wouldn't have anything at all," he said.
"It's just started to improve now and we anticipate picking about 60kg tomorrow."
According to Mr Emery, the quality of the fruit this year is excellent because he has not had any issues related to pests and disease.
He said he expected to pick about 600kg this season.
Mr Emery said a soil treatment program he had designed to increase per plant yield was working well.
But he said the improved soil had produced weeds, resulting in cattle breaking into the plantation.
"At the moment we are getting about 5kg of raisins per plant and we are looking for 15kg," he said.
Mr Emery said a bush raisin plant in the wild produced between two and five grams per plant.
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