A smashing season for avocados

Indications of 'biggest season ever'


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Avocados Australia regional director Tom Silver said quality and size were up in the Tamborine and Northern Rivers regions this year.

Avocados Australia regional director Tom Silver said quality and size were up in the Tamborine and Northern Rivers regions this year.

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Avocados lovers rejoice - production is up and avocados are 30 per cent bigger in size.

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Avocado lovers will be excited to know that the Australian avocado industry is having a smashing season. 

Producing almost 66,000 tonnes of avocados in the 2016/17 season, all indications point to what could be the best crop in 10 years with some growing regions experiencing their biggest season ever.

Avocados Australia chairman and north Queensland director Jim Kochi said growers in the Mareeba and Atherton regions had recently begun to harvest what looks to be the biggest crop ever. 

“Mainly due to increased plantings and a reasonably good flower set in the spring time, so that means the quality has been quite good,” he said. 

Despite recent rain putting harvest on hold, things are back on track now and Mr Kochi said if the weather holds they should be able to get the crop off before June.

With the equivalent of about 2.7 million trays of avocados to come from the region this season, Mr Kochi said production from the north is forecast to be higher than that from central Queensland for the first time ever. 

The increase in production is not the only thing to look forward to.

Avocados Australia central Queensland director Eric Carney said fruit is also 30 per cent bigger than last year in terms of sizing. 

“Our growing season has been very good this year,” he said, 

“We've had a lot more rain than previous years, so sizing is considerably up on last year.

“The overall crop is up; it's slightly bigger than last year, and a part of that's just due to the increased fruit size.” 

Over the border into the Tamborine and Northern Rivers regions of New South Wales, despite it not being the biggest season ever, Avocados Australia regional director Tom Silver said it’s been a great growing season. 

“We're down on what we can do in our area, but quality is up and size is definitely up and maturity is fairly early for this year,” he said.

With the Australian avocado industry going through a massive growth phase, the future looks bright.

About one third of all the trees that are planted in Australia are less than six years old, meaning they are yet to come into full production. 

In north Queensland alone, 40pc of trees are yet to reach maturity.

“In the future we're looking at big increases with those 40 to 45pc of young trees that are going to come into production in the next year or so,” Mr Kochi said.

The story A smashing season for avocados first appeared on Queensland Country Life.

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