The 2016 Australian macadamia crop has been forecast at 46,750 tonnes in-shell @ 3.5% moisture (50,000 tonnes in-shell @ 10% moisture) by the peak industry body, the Australian Macadamia Society (AMS) in its first forecast for the year.
The forecast represents a 4 per cent increase in production from 2015 (45,100 tonnes in-shell at 3.5% moisture / 48,300 tonnes in-shell at 10% moisture).
The AMS has transitioned crop reporting from 10% to 3.5% moisture content weights to better align with the moisture content at which the crop is traded.
Australian Macadamia Society Chief Executive Officer Jolyon Burnett says global demand for both kernel and in-shell remains strong, and predicts continued steady growth in all markets. Global supply is predicted to be steady and on par with 2015.
Mr. Burnett said the Australian macadamia crop is looking solid in all major growing regions, growing conditions have been relatively favourable, and kernel quality expectations are good.
“We are seeing the results of the recent high levels of investment in productivity by growers,” said Mr. Burnett.
“Improved practices in integrated orchard management (drainage, orchard floor and canopy management) have led to better soil and tree health, and delivered yields of 2.9t/ha in 2015 (compared with 2.5t/h in 2012) and revitalised many orchards.
“Again, our growers have invested significant time and resources into this crop, and have begun the long harvest season with optimism.”
The Australian macadamia harvest starts in February/March, and continues for up to six months, with the last nuts collected from orchard floors in August/September.
The industry forecast is provided from modelling developed over seven years by the AMS and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and historical data provided by the Australian Macadamia Handlers Association (AMHA).
The model works on yield curves developed from historical records and incorporates tree number and age, varieties, climatic data for the growing season and pest and disease incidence. Historically, the model has provided forecasts with better than +/- 8% accuracy.
The first estimate of the crop based on actual receivals by participating handlers will be released in July 2016. A further report will be provided in August 2016 and the final figure for the 2016 crop will be announced by the AMS in late November 2016.
The project ‘MC15009 Macadamia Crop Forecasting 2015-2018’ has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the macadamia industry levy and funds from the Australian Government.