Ripe pecan nuts. Photo Contributed
Ripe pecan nuts. Photo Contributed Contributed

Pecan industry is going nuts in the Northern Rivers

THANKS to unprecedented growth in the last decade, an expanding NSW nut industry is set to benefit from ongoing research generated by NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).

Newly appointed DPI research scientist Jacquelyn Simpson, based at the Yanco Agricultural Institute (YAI), supports almond, chestnut, hazelnut, pecan, pistachio and walnut industries fresh from completion of a PhD in ecophysiology and ecosystems at the University of Sydney. 

Farm gate value rising

Dr Simpson said the farm gate value of the Australian temperate nut industry reached $1.2 billion in the 2014-15 financial year due to global demand, strong local production and increasing market values for nuts and nut products.  

“Industry expansion is expected to continue with Australian nuts highly valued in international markets due to the high quality of local production and relatively low pest and disease issues,” she said. 

“In this statewide role I have met with producers across the country, on farm and at industry events, to build partnerships and discuss opportunities for collaboration and my Riverina base allows me to work closely with rapidly developing nut industries in the area.” 

Pecans are set to expand in the state’s north. 

Dr Simpson said the popular tree crop grown across Australia and enjoyed world-wide in meals, snacks and treats can be grown in many areas of the state. 

“Growing high-yielding, profitable nut trees demands optimal climatic and agronomic conditions and identifying suitable regions for industry expansion is a major focus of my work at YAI,” she said. 

“DPI has produced new guides to areas which offer potential for nut crop expansion using bioclimatology modelling, which studied the effects of climate on nut trees - clearly specific site analysis must be undertaken before making a final decision to establish any orchard.” 

Information packages on regional suitability for expansion of temperature nut industries is available online 

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