Investments in boosting orchard productivity are paying dividends for Australian macadamia growers, with production set to surpass the 45,000 tonne mark for the second straight year.
In its first forecast for the 2016 season, the Australian Macadamia Society (AMS) pegged crop volume at 46,750 tonnes in-shell (at 3.5 per cent moisture), a 4 per cent increase from the 45,100 tonnes produced in 2015.
The AMS has transitioned crop reporting from 10 per cent to 3.5 per cent moisture content weights to better align with the moisture levels at which the crop is traded.
AMS chief executive Jolyon Burnett said growing conditions have been relatively favourable across all regions, with harvest getting underway in late February and extending into early September.
“Improved practices in integrated orchard management (drainage, orchard floor and canopy management) have led to better soil and tree health, and delivered (average) yields of 2.9 tonnes per ha in 2015, compared with 2.5 tonnes per ha in 2012,” Burnett explained.
“Again, our growers have invested significant time and resources into this crop, and have begun the long harvest season with optimism.”
Burnett said global demand for both kernel and in-shell macadamias remains strong, with steady growth tipped in all markets.