Canobolas grower Bernard Hall says the cool and wet conditions have delayed the start of the season at his place by a couple of weeks, but the first fruit is looking good and will be ready to pick in a fortnight or so.
"It's been quite difficult to keep some of the pests and disease out because of the rain - we've really had to be on the ball - but the rain certainly helped the size and the cool weather has helped the colour," he said.
With about 95 percent of his orchard covered by hail nets, his fruit have been protected, although he says others may not have been so lucky: "Anyone that didn't have hail nets will be in a bit of trouble because it has hailed quite a bit," he said.
Paula Charnock of Thornbrook Orchard and Hillside Harvest says some of her fruit was hit by hail.
"We've had hail at all of our farms this year.
"Anything that wasn't covered in nets in time is damaged.
"A Hillside, we have fruit that was covered in time and it's good, but the fruit that wasn't covered will probably go straight to juice."
She said it had been a mixed bag for apples this year.
"If you've been on top of everything your fruit will be very good.
"But if you missed a spray or something, you've got the potential to have your crop damaged and full of disease quite easily.
"There's been a lot of disease pressure. There's been a lot of black spot around, so if you haven't got your spray timings quite right then there's a good chance you'll have a bit of black spot."
She said the fruit set has been variable - some had set and some had been irregular.
Some apples were a little smaller than average because of the lack of sunshine, but other fruit was on par with other years.
"Growing wise, stuff that's been looked after well is looking good.
"And because it's been cool everything's colouring nicely."
The Royal Galas will be the first off the trees at Mr Hall's orchard and many others in Orange. The medium size, sweet fruit is a 'cracking' apple, according to Mr Hall.
As the season goes on, apples lovers will be able to enjoy Kanzis, Fujis Granny Smith and Pink Ladys by the start of May.
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