Record numbers of lemons are expected to be harvested in Far North Queensland this summer, helping the Australian industry achieve its goal of supplying Australian lemons year-round.
The projected record summer crop – a time of year when lemons have been traditionally imported – is a result of expansion in the FNQ citrus industry, and good weather.
The increase in Australian grown lemons from FNQ and central and southern Queensland means there will be more fresh Australian lemons for consumers to purchase this summer.
Citrus Australia CEO Nathan Hancock said: “We have seen expansion of existing orchards, as well as the implementation of new orchards, in FNQ over the past 3-4 years and these trees are now coming into production.”
“There has been good weather through the flowering and fruit set stages, which is resulting in a heavy crop.”
Growers have been conducting spot picks from October through to December, with full harvest underway from January to March.
Weather conditions have been ideal for the early harvest period and local growers are hopeful this continues.
Lemons are typically imported from the USA and Egypt over summer to meet consumer demand, as lemons from southern Australia were not able to meet demand.
The number of lemon imports have been declining since 2014 as Australian production in summer has grown.
“Our industry has made a concerted effort to meet the demand of Australian consumers for Australian lemons in summer and it’s a credit to our growers that we’re now in this position,” Mr Hancock said.
“With Christmas approaching, we know Australians love to squeeze lemon juice on their fresh seafood, whip up fresh lemonade for a hot day, and add a slice to cocktails and coronas.
“They can do so this year knowing there will be more fresh Aussie lemons grown by Australian farmers.”
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