Australian Macadamia Society CEO Jolyon Burnett on a tour of an Oakenden macadamia orchard. Photo: Zizi Averill
Australian Macadamia Society CEO Jolyon Burnett on a tour of an Oakenden macadamia orchard. Photo: Zizi Averill

Going nuts: Crop exceeds expectation despite drought

PROVING to be a tough nut in the face of drought, the 2020 Australian macadamia crop will exceed expectations, according to the Australian Macadamia Society (AMS).

The crop is now forecast to reach 42,000 tonnes in-shell at 3.5 per cent moisture (45,000 tonnes at 10 per cent moisture).

This is 15 per cent higher than the original estimate of 36,500 tonnes in-shell at 3.5 per cent moisture (39,000 tonnes at 10 per cent moisture).

AMS CEO Jolyon Burnett said growing regions impacted most by unprecedented dry conditions had generally performed better than anticipated.

"The majority of the crop has now been harvested, and the quality of nuts is very good despite the drought conditions leading into the season," he said.

Mr Burnett added that substantial rainfall in January in all growing regions had helped to ease the extreme conditions.

"Throughout the season, growers continued to focus on improving their orchard floor management, which is integral to managing soil moisture," he said.

"This investment in soil health helped to maintain trees during the drought."

The latest Australian macadamia industry crop estimate is based on forecast intake provided by the Australian Macadamia Handlers Association (AMHA) to the end of September.

The AMHA represent 97.5 per cent of production in Australia.

The final figure for the 2020 crop will be announced by the AMS in early December.



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