After some difficult months navigating the aftermath of severe weather in the Northern Rivers macadamia growing region, growers have staged a solid comeback and the outlook has brightened.
The unprecedented severe flooding had a devastating effect on many homes and businesses in the region, with many macadamia orchards sustaining damage and growers losing infrastructure, machinery and early season crop on the ground.
But according to Australian Macadamias CEO Jolyon Burnett, the crisis is easing, and conditions have improved.
“It is very pleasing to report that the New South Wales growing regions have returned to fine weather, and harvest is once again underway on most orchards,” said Mr Burnett.
“Flood-affected orchards in southeast Queensland are also harvesting again and pleasingly their yields are exceeding expectations, which should see them deliver a similar result to last year.”
Mr Burnett said Australia’s largest producing region of Bundaberg is enjoying a very strong season.
“Bundaberg represents around 46% of the Australian crop and was unaffected by weather earlier this year. After some early rain, it’s experiencing fine conditions and harvest continues to be on track there.”
The Australian macadamia crop forecast was revised in May to 49,340 tonnes in-shell @ 3.5% moisture (52,900 tonnes in-shell @ 10% moisture), representing a 10% reduction on the 2021 crop. Mr Burnett says based on how the industry is tracking at this stage of the harvesting season, this is still a realistic expectation.
“Given the severity of these weather events and the damage sustained, a huge amount of credit must go to Australia’s macadamia growers for working so hard to get back out into their orchards and continue with harvest. If achieved, the total crop volume we are forecasting for 2022 will be a positive outcome considering the disruption experienced in the Northern Rivers.”
Mr Burnett also stressed that initial concerns regarding kernel quality have not materialised, and deliveries to date have been encouraging with low rejects and higher than expected kernel recoveries.
“The Australian industry is back on track and is shipping premium kernel around the world. Our production is stable, quality is good and there’s every reason to invest in Australian grown macadamias if you’re looking to develop food and beverage products that meet the health, taste and versatility needs of today’s discerning consumers.”
A further update on the Australian macadamia crop will be provided in September.