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Climate change is threatening Australia’s favorite fruits

This summer, Australian mango growers are expecting the smallest harvest in at least two decades. Cherry farmers are losing trees. Grape growers are having to deal with shortening harvest windows.

In Queensland and the Northern Territory, where the majority of mangoes are grown, warming winters have meant that trees aren’t getting the minimum cold snap they need to develop fruit.

Gavin Scurr, managing director of Pinata Farms: “… what we need is seven to ten consecutive days where it’s below 15 degrees. This year and last year we’ve been getting two or three days of that and then it warms back up to 18 or 19 degrees, so the tree gets a bit of a fright but it doesn’t stress it enough.”

Mango harvests have been about 30 per cent lower compared to their peak in the last two years and growers are expecting that to fall even further this year as the trend continues.

Scurr told “The climate continually changes but it would appear the trend of warmer winters in the north is continuing and going into a pattern that hasn’t turned around yet. We’re quite concerned.”

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