Local mango season looks promising despite heat wave worries
WITH the mango season just starting in the Northern Territory, the heavenly fruit is once again hitting the supermarket shelves, with prices averaging $35-$40 per tray for large Kensington Pride.
But locally some growers are concerned their mango flowers may have suffered at the hand of sudden summer weather earlier in the week.
"I've had a couple people from Casino tell me their mango flowers shrivelled up in that weather," said Hogarth Range mango grower Mike Coleman. "But up here on the range conditions have been perfect."
Mr Coleman said his local micro-climate ran about two to three weeks later than down in the Richmond Valley and temperatures both day and night were less extreme.
How is your backyard mango tree looking this year?
This poll ended on 19 October 2015.
It's covered in blossoms and looking great! We'll be eating a lot of mangoes this summer!
It was looking great and then those hot days hit and the blossoms all shrivelled up. We might have to pay for mangoes this year!
I don't have a mango tree and that makes me sad. :(
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
He said warm nights were good for flowering, and it could be that those cold nights before the heat may have shrivelled some mango flowers.
Casino reported temperatures around 4-5 degrees C during the nights preceding the short-lived heat wave. Swan Bay, near Woodburn recorded temperatures dropping to 3 degrees C.
"It's too early to predict if the season will be a good one," Mr Coleman said. "Fruit is beginning to set now but we'll know better in a week's time to ten days."
DPI advisor Mark Hickey, based at Wollongbar, said he had not heard of any detrimental effects to mangoes in recent days.
"Mangoes need a bit of cooling," he said. "That helps with flowering. And they generally handle high temperatures."
"Rainfall is the main concern at this time of year. Protracted wet can be a problem as mangoes get anthracnose which kills the flower."
Mr Hickey said most flowering should be finished with fruitlets starting to emerge. The number of fruitlets helps indicate what sort of season may lie ahead - but it is no guarantee.
"So far it has been a reasonable year for mangoes," Mr Hickey said.
"There has not been a lot of rain up north. The Northern Territory crop is well under way. Mangoes do really well if it stays dry."
Bureau forecasts for the next three months suggest a dry start to summer and, as such, a potentially productive mango season.