A warmer than average winter has led to both haphazard and late flowering of mango trees in Queensland’s largest growing district of Mareeba-Dimbulah. For this sector, decent cold snaps are required to bring on flowering, without which there is no fruit set. However, over the three months of winter, mean minimum temperatures for Mareeba were more than three degrees higher than the 70-year average.
Mareeba mango grower and FNQ Growers President, Joe Moro, told Tropic Now the resulting blooms ahead of the traditional October harvest is a mixed bag: “There are good spots and there are some very below average spots and everything in between. One of the things we are noticing is it’s a bit later as well.”
The 2020/21 season was quite disastrous for many local growers, with winter frosts leading to low production. Prices plummeted the previous year due to a harvesting overlap with the Burdekin and Bowen regions which created a glut.
Whether demand will be there to meet that supply could depend on lockdowns in the southern states easing for Christmas. “The lockdown is a big factor and I really hope the Melbourne and Sydney markets are back up and running,” Moro said. “A low crop and less workers is not the best. Yes, it might be easier to manage labor, but the labor issue is much more complicated than that. Farmers, like other industries, are feeling very uncertain.”