Bad weather takes toll on Australian macadamias
Serve weather has taken its toll on Australia’s 2017 macadamia crop.
The 2017 crop forecast has now been revised down to 47, 000 tonnes in-shell, approximately 10 per cent lower than originally expecting. Rain and flooding from Cyclone Debbie in March and record rainfall in the Northern Rivers in June have both been attributed to the poor crop performance.
For the past two seasons, Australian macadamia farmers had experienced bumper crops and were expected a third similar season Australian Macadamia Society Chief Executive Officer Jolyon Burnett said.
“Australian macadamia growers had laid the groundwork for their third consecutive record crop, but unfortunately these extreme weather events and challenging harvest conditions have played havoc with those plans,” Burnett said.
“The Australian macadamia crop has been growing steadily since 2014, driven largely by sustained investment into productivity improvements in orchards by our growers. However, like all horticulture industries, we are susceptible to these kind of adverse weather events.”
Australian macadamia trees benefit from productivity initiatives
Burnett said the health of Australia’s macadamia trees and orchards is good with growers adopting new productivity initiatives which are leading to better soil and tree health.
“Innovative orchard practices coupled with substantial new investment into the industry via new plantings and the establishment of large new orchards, means the Australian macadamia crop will show consistent, steady growth in the coming years,” he said.
“Australia’s reputation for being a stable, reliable supplier of macadamia kernel and in-shell will continue well into the future as our industry continues to grow and evolve.”
Demand for macadamias remain strong
The Australian Macadamia Society says demand for Australian macadamias remain strong with the domestic industry growing quickly.
There has been a five-fold increase in macadamia plantings over the past 20 years and there are now six million macadamia tress in cultivation.
By 2020 it is expected that more than 22, 000 hectares of macadamias will be planted and the export value will exceed $180 million.
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