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Northern Territory mango growers trial new ways to harvest fruit

Ord Valley mangoes left unpicked as growers are faced with flooded market

Large amounts of high-quality mangoes will remain unpicked in Western Australia's north this year, as prices for the popular summer fruit are down. Mangoes are selling for as low as $2 apiece in supermarkets across Australia, as volumes from several production areas hit the market at the same time.

According to Steve Angel from Swag Rural Mangoes, WA's biggest mango farm, more than 400 bins of mangoes will remain nestled in the 120,000 trees of his orchard this season. That is about two weeks' worth of picking.

With the market flooded, prices had dropped close to historic lows, with the R2E2 variety suffering the harshest value squeeze.

NT mango growers pick at night to combat the heat
Picking mangoes in the Northern Territory is hard work. In the past few years, many growers have faced mounting pressure to find enough laborers, but some farmers and researchers are trying to find solutions to the industry's challenges.

For instance, Piñata Farms has been picking mangoes at night for years. One picker stated: "[Night harvest] is good. It's better than day [harvesting] because the daytime is too hot.”



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