Outlook positive for 2024 Australian macadamia crop

The 2024 Australian macadamia crop is predicted to reach 56,000 tonnes in-shell at 3.5% moisture (60,000 tonnes in-shell at 10% moisture). 

This represents a 16% increase on last year’s crop of 48,400 tonnes in-shell at 3.5% moisture (51,900 tonnes in-shell at 10% moisture) which was impacted by lower than expected yields and a softening of the farm gate price.

Australian Macadamia Society CEO Clare Hamilton-Bate says, “2024 is looking like a better season, with good conditions experienced during flowering, and positive grower sentiment across growing regions. While recent rainfall in some regions will make the start of harvest a little challenging, with good growing conditions we expect to see an improvement in kernel recoveries, which is very encouraging.”

Ms Hamilton-Bate says it’s also pleasing to see reports indicating the smaller crop and kernel volumes produced in 2023 have prompted a return to more normalized levels of kernel inventory heading into 2024.

The Australian macadamia industry usually relies on scientific modelling developed by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to base the initial forecast for the year, and in 2024, the model indicates a climate-based forecast of 63,350 tonnes at 10% moisture.

Ms. Hamilton-Bate says the official forecast has been determined by examining this climate-based modelling in conjunction with a review of historical crop volumes after periods of low pricing.

“Historical data from prior price downturns shows a slow return to orchard productivity. This is due to reduced crop inputs along with intense orchard management practices such as pruning and hedging.  The last two seasons have been very challenging for growers with spiraling input costs making crop input management decisions even more challenging than normal. Taking this into consideration, we believe this season’s actual crop volume is likely to finish below that predicted by the climate-based modelling,” she says.

A mid-season crop report will be provided in May/June 2024.

*The project ‘Macadamia Crop Forecasting’ has been funded by Hort Innovation using the macadamia industry levy and funds from the Australian Government.

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