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2017 Australian Nut Conference (ANC) 27 - 29 MARCH 2017

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Growing tree nuts in Australia

 

 

Tree nuts provide attractive alternative production options to the more traditional but largely low value Australian agricultural industries which are currently under pressure from the low labour costs, and heavily subsidised production of overseas competitors.

Nuts return a gross revenue of $20,000-$30,000/hectare; compared to a $500 - $700/ha return from grains. Nuts return $2,000 - $3,000 per megalitre of water applied; in contrast, rice returns several hundred dollars per megalitre

The tyranny of distance generally means that most agricultural commodities carry a high export freight cost to our major markets. By contrast, the high value of nuts compared to most broadacre crops means the freight cost is an insignificant component. For example, a 20-foot container of almonds or macadamias has a market value in excess of $150,000 compared to around $5,000 for a container-load of wheat. Freight costs per kg are comparable but as a proportion of value there is a stark difference.

 

Australia enjoys a reputation in consuming countries for unsurpassed food-safety and environmental standards (clean and green). Our relative isolation has generally provided Australian agriculture with a pest- and disease-free environment. The Australian nut industries have a long history of participation in government-sponsored residue testing, with an exemplary track record measured against some of the strictest residue limits in the world, providing global markets with justifiable confidence in the Australian product.

 

Tree nut industries require long-term development capital, technological skills and research to build on advantages. With the support of research and development funding from the Australian Government, Australia is producing some of the highest nut yields per hectare in the world in particular for almonds, pecans and macadamias. Long-term breeding programs aimed at improved varieties are also in progress.

 

From paddock to processing, the Australian industry has excelled at producing a wide and growing range of tree nut crops. Underpinning this success are several factors including the variety of climatic and agronomic zones, excellent infrastructure and processing systems, investment in research and development, and skilled growers and advisors.

 

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Australian Nut Industry Council

42 Simpsons Road
Currumbin Waters Q 4223

Phone: 0409 707 806

exec@nutindustry.org.au

 

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