The 2020 Australian macadamia crop has been affected by drought and is forecast to reach 36,500 tonnes in-shell at 3.5% moisture (39,000 tonnes at 10% moisture), announced the industry’s peak body, the Australian Macadamia Society (AMS) today.
This will be the second consecutive macadamia crop impacted by the unprecedented dry conditions, after the 2019 crop fell short at 43,500 tonnes at 3.5% moisture (46,600 tonnes at 10% moisture).
AMS CEO Jolyon Burnett said all growing regions have been impacted.
“2019 was the hottest and driest year in recorded Australian history. Our largest producing region of Bundaberg had its driest ever year on record, and Lismore in the Northern Rivers (our second largest producing region) had its driest spell since 1903.
“Irrigation in Bundaberg made the conditions easier to manage but placed pressure on water availability. However non-irrigated regions were unable to mitigate for the conditions.”
Mr. Burnett added that substantial recent rainfall in all growing regions had helped to ease the extreme conditions.
“There is visible improvement to orchard soil and tree health. Growers are continuing to focus on improving their orchard floor management, which is integral to managing soil moisture.”
Mr. Burnett said the Australian macadamia industry continues to remain focused on both improving productivity and investing in innovative global marketing.
“An exciting new 2-year marketing campaign will commence in mid-2020 and feature new consumer campaigns plus new market research that will explore opportunity areas for macadamias.”
The 2020 macadamia harvest has begun in Bundaberg and will commence in all other growing regions in the coming weeks, ending in August/September.
The industry forecast is informed by modelling developed over the last decade by the AMS and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and historical data provided by the Australian Macadamia Handlers Association (AMHA).
A further crop report will be provided in May 2020.
*The project ‘Macadamia Crop Forecasting’ has been funded by Hort Innovation using the macadamia industry levy and funds from the Australian Government.