The Australian industry is forecasted to reach a production capacity of 160,000 tonnes delivering a forecast farmgate revenue of more than $1 billion. Therefore, the almond crop is also known as the crop of increases. According to the Almond Board of Australia, the future of the industry is nothing but glowing. Orchard area planted to almonds increased from 45,088 hectares in 2018 to now 53,014 hectares in 2019. The number of almond trees planted in orchards totals more than 15.4 million. The 2019 almond production was 104,437 tonnes, the largest crop to date. Australian almond exports were worth $772 million in 2019-20.
One of the main reasons for this success is the crop’s water efficiency. According to the report, 95 per cent of almond orchards are efficiently irrigated using drip systems managed by soil moisture monitoring technology. The Almond Board’s water policy requires that the Murray Darling Basin river system and its environs are healthy and can sustainably support a prosperous, diverse irrigated agricultural sector and its communities. It is a well-known fact that in 2019, the Victorian government has wisely amended its approval process on selling annual use limits to new irrigation developments and has called on other States to do likewise.
Water is a vital and large input into food production whether that be raising animals or growing crops. Almonds are no exception using between 12 and 14 megalitres per hectare on mature orchards to produce 3.2 tonnes of the almond kernel and 6 tonnes of hull and shell that is predominantly used for cattle food and is a highly sought after food source in times of drought.
Australia remains the second-largest producer of almonds in the world. Australia produced 7pc of the global almond crop. The USA grows 79pc of the world production. The export volume of Australian almonds grew from 60,894 tonnes in 2018-19 to 76,556 tonnes in 2019-20. Australian almond exports to China and Hong Kong grew from 20pc of Australia’s total exports in 2018-19 to 52pc in 2019-20.
Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)