Wet and wild weather plays havoc with the nuts

FLOOD FALLOUT: The Bauple macadamia crop is forecast to be down on expectations.
FLOOD FALLOUT: The Bauple macadamia crop is forecast to be down on expectations. Contributed

MACADAMIA nut supplies from Bauple will continue to be strong for the time being, despite the summer's wet and wild weather.

The nut farm was hit hard by last month's weather, raising uncertainty on the quality of this season's crop.

Macadamia House director Yolande Bromet said the summer rain had taken a toll on the nuts.

"Our macadamia orchards in Bauple have been devastated by the floods earlier this year," she said.

"It has been hard to harvest in these conditions, with damage to the crop, extensive erosion and the constant showers preventing the ground from drying out."

She said the crop would be strong but the future was not looking as optimistic.

"Next year's crop will probably be impacted by this year's rain, however we remain hopeful the more recent plantings will commence production," she said.

The 2013 Australian macadamia crop was estimated at 39,000 tonnes, nut in shell, which was only 1000 less than last year's pickings.

Australian Macadamia Society chief executive officer Jolyon Burnett said before the severe weather this year's crop had been shaping up as a good one.

"Growers were confident that the combination of good conditions and increased attention to management during the season was going to pay off," he said.

"Testament to this optimism was the large amount of nut in the trees and limbs, before they unfortunately came down in the storms."

Mr Burnett said the total damage might not be known for weeks.

"However growers are unable to assess the full extent of the damage at this time, as orchard access remains difficult," he said.

"There may be a delay in harvest in some areas because pre-harvest preparation has stalled in many orchards and access for harvest equipment could be an issue for some weeks."

Ms Bromet said there would still be plenty of work for the nut sorters working at the macadamia house.

"Our team of sorters for 2013 is an enthusiastic bunch from around the Fraser Coast hinterland and the odd travelling backpacker," she said.

"No nut is too big or small for a sort, we just hope to be able to supply them with enough work for the season."

Topics:  horticulture macadamia oswald

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.