Going nuts for macadamias
MACADAMIA lovers will be ecstatic to hear that a record crop has been produced for the second year in a row.
Northern Rivers macadamia growers have helped to produce 52,000 tonnes in-shell at 10% moisture (48,600 tonnes in-shell at 3.5% moisture) - the Australian Macadamia Society announced.
This is slightly higher than the original forecast of 50,000 tonnes in-shell (10% moisture) and represents an 8% increase on last year's crop. Kernel production will remain on par with 2015 at 10,500t.
The society's chief executive, Jolyon Burnett, said there were several reasons for the good result, including favourable weather conditions and a longer than expected harvest tail end.
"There have been no adverse weather events and good prices have made it economically viable for growers to complete additional harvest rounds," he said. "Growers devoted significant time and resources into this crop, investing heavily in productivity improvements in their orchards.
"This is now paying dividends in terms of production, and orchards are in good condition going into next season."
Mr Burnett added that while it is too early to accurately predict, indications to date are positive for another good crop in 2017.
Global demand remains strong across the board for both kernel and in-shell, and recent free trade agreements with South Korea, Japan and China are having a positive impact.
Exports of Australian macadamias to Korea increased by 150% since the FTA, and to Japan by 18%.