2012 Almond Harvest - Tonnages are light, but the future looks alright

The 2012 Almond harvest has now been completed. It has been light in tonnage, but the future for the almond industry looks positive.

Almond Board of Australia chief executive Ross Skinner says the high Australian dollar is making it hard to compete against the United States.

"The Australian dollar above parity certainly places us at a disadvantage against the US industry - that's our major competitor on export markets," he says.

Picking started in February in the Riverland and 2 weeks later on the Fluerieu Peninsula. Our sources in the Riverland reported that yields were down by 15% on last season. Allied to this prices were down due to the high $AUS, which lead to lower returns to growers. 

Yields on the Fleurieu were average with groves reporting 1-1.25 tonnes per hectare.

Despite lower yields and lower returns for growers the long term future for almonds looks bright. The Australian almond industry has undergone rapid expansion, becoming one of Australia's fastest growing horticulture sectors. The industry has been  tapping into rising demand in Asia and elsewhere.
The industry has identified India and China as priority development markets.

Split Almond.

“India has a very strong heritage for cooking with almonds… Indian mothers give their children almonds before they leave for school because they believe almonds promote mental strength,” Sam Freeman from DJ's notes.

Fleurieu Almond Harvest.
Sam said ongoing almond nutrition and irrigation research is need to keep improving orchard yields and quality.


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