Nut forecast down

LOWER HAUL: The Bundaberg macadamia crop is forecast to be slightly down on expectations.
LOWER HAUL: The Bundaberg macadamia crop is forecast to be slightly down on expectations.

BUNDABERG macadamia growers are expected to haul in 10,200 tonnes of nut in shell for the season, slightly less than what was expected.

The figure equates to about 3000 tonnes of kernel or 27% of the national total.

Australian Macadamia Society chief executive officer Jolyon Burnett said while the figure was slightly less than the original estimate it was still a good result for local growers.

"Bundaberg has continued to show steady growth," he said.

"Each year Bundaberg increases its production and the percentage it produces of the total national haul is increasing in line with that."

Early indications point to a national haul of 38,000 tonnes of nut in shell being harvested from the industry's growing regions of northern New South Wales, Sunshine Coast and Bundaberg.

The figure represents a return to normalcy after the disastrous 2011 season - believed to be among the worst in the history of the industry which produced only 28,000 tonnes of nut in shell.

Mr Burnett said while this season's total represented a welcome recovery, it was by no means a bumper crop.

"Given the number of trees that have been recently planted and those that are coming of nut-bearing age, we would have hoped for better growth than we have seen," he said.

A group of 40 international delegates travelled to Bundaberg last week as part of the International Macadamia Symposium held in Brisbane.

The group toured the Steinhardt family farm and the new Pacific Gold processing facility.

Mr Burnett said the delegates were impressed by the scale and scope of growing operations in the Bundaberg region.

"It gave us the chance to see how we in Australia are up there with world's best practice when it comes to growing and production," he said.

Topics:  horticulture macadamia