The Australian macadamia industry is heading for a record harvest of about 54,000 tonnes of nut-in-shell this year, a haul worth more than $275 million. While the majority of the nation’s orchards have finished harvest, these figures won’t be confirmed until next month. About 29,000 tonnes will originate from Queensland, with about 13,000t of that coming from Bundaberg alone. At the average price of $5.10/kg NIS at 10 per cent moisture, Queensland’s harvest could be worth more than $148 million. The biggest confirmed national harvest was in 2018 when growers produced 52,900t NIS.
These figures are expected to grow as new, higher-yielding varieties come through the breeding pipeline and are planted. Queensland in particular was performing well, growing at a faster rate than NSW, with Bundaberg the driving force. Macadamias Australia corporate services director Janelle Gerry said nuts from their own farms accounted for about one-third of their processing plant’s capacity, so they were always looking to augment supply. Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said as many as 2.5 million trees will be established across Queensland and NSW over the next few years, with sales of four new DAF-licensed varieties doubling year-on-year since 2017.
There are approximately 850 macadamia growers operating in Australia. The majority of the plantings are in northern New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland with fewer plantings on the New South Wales mid-north coast as well as central and northern Queensland (Table 1). In 2008 Australian macadamia production was about 35,000 tonnes (Table 2). Most of the plantings are on the coastal plains east of the Great Dividing Range with some pockets on tablelands in north Queensland. There are also minor plantings in Western Australia.
Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)