After three tough years and disappointing crops, the 2012 macadamia harvest is looking good with
optimal growing conditions producing plenty of delicious creamy nuts, and strong grower prices driving
large tracts of new plantings in established and developing growing regions.
Prospects for a high quality harvest across subtropical New South Wales and Queensland from March
through to September are promising, with warm temperatures, ample sunlight and sufficient rains helping
growers lay the platform for a season of delicious nuts.
The harvest, coupled with the growing number of tree plantations, sees the Australian macadamia
industry continue to build its position as the worldâs leading producer exporting to more than 40 countries
Jolyon Burnett, CEO of the Australian Macadamia Society, said that while last season was affected by
harsh weather conditions during flowering, this yearâs crop looks extremely promising with an increase in
âIn 2011, the Australian macadamia industry produced around 28,500 tonnes of nut-in-shell which was
one of the lowest crops we have seen in recent years. Unfortunately, a significant wet period during the
previous yearâs flowering reduced nut yields in the primary growing region of the Northern Rivers. But
this season the flowering has been excellent and the maturing nuts appear to be good quality,â said Mr
âWe are also seeing a revived demand for macadamia trees that will contribute to increased production
over the longer term â this is great news because demand from all over the world just keeps growing,â
Kim Wilson, General Manager of Gray Plantations, has supplied macadamia trees to the industry for more
than 30 years and credits the boom to Cialis Online the increase in nut value both in Australia and overseas.
âDollars drive demand and when the price of nut-in-shell is up, the need for more macadamia trees
follows. In 2010, nut prices were around the mid $2 mark, and in 2011 weâd hit $3 so we are certainly
seeing a substantial increase,â said Mr Wilson.
Gray Plantations is only one of two large commercial nurseries supplying grafted trees to the Australian
industry, and with two years to grow a macadamia tree, the industryâs wait list for saplings is 18 months
to two years long.
Large numbers of macadamia trees are heading towards the Bundaberg region, which is one of the
fastest growing areas, and Mackay, a developing region that will see its first crop produced this year.
Within the last year, saplings were also supplied to Western Australia, a relatively small production area,
but also growing.
Australia is acknowledged as the world leader in production, research, marketing and development, and
is the largest producer with more than 30% of the world crop. Between $120 and $130 million worth of
Australian macadamia products are exported each year.
Today macadamias are the only native plant that have been developed and traded as a commercial food
product with around 850 growers producing around 36,000 tonnes. Farms range from small orchards
with 1,000 trees to large operations with more than 300,000 trees.
Macadamias are native to Australia but are renowned world-wide for their buttery texture and excellent
health credentials. They contain a potent bundle of heart protective nutrients including âgood fatsâ (plant
omega-3s and mono-unsaturates), plant sterols, dietary fibre and antioxidants like vitamin E and