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Harvest strategy

2022 | Australian Macadamia Society | Fact Sheet

Planning, preparation, maintenance, flexibility and a clear understanding of what growers want to achieve are crucial ingredients of a successful harvesting strategy.

Harvest strategy quick tips & grower experiences

2022 | Australian Macadamia Society | Fact Sheet

The AMS has compiled the following tips for different aspects of the harvest process. In addition, grower comments, ideas and experiences from the December 2016 MacGroups were captured and incorporated into this information sheet.

Tree shakers

2021 | Australian Macadamia Society | Fact Sheet

While tree shaking technology was introduced into tree crop industries like almonds in the 1960s, it has only been used in macadamias in the last few years. Part of the reason for this is that growers believed that the machines could easily damage tree trunks or roots and possibly increase trees susceptibility to disease or even kill them through ring barking.
Tree shaking technology has come a long way since it was first developed. Today’s shakers are sophisticated, more “gentle” machines fitted with sensors as well as padded and compensating heads contributing to them being much less likely to damage trees than in the past.
With several growers having recently bought new or used shaker machines, and contractors in New South Wales and Queensland providing tree shaking services, growers are now looking to the benefits of incorporating the practice into their harvesting and orchard management schedule.

Grower experiences with tree shaking

2021 | Australian Macadamia Society | Video

A growing number of macadamia orchard owners and managers are incorporating tree shakers into their harvest programs. As well as helping to speed up harvest, shakers are being used to improve orchard hygiene, decrease the harbour for pests and diseases, reduce harvest costs and allow after harvest operations to start sooner than normal.
In this video, 4 macadamia growers talk about their experiences with tree shaking, including when and why they started, types of tree shakers, the benefits and challenges, results, varieties, use of ethrel, tree shaking and irrigation, and tips for other growers.

Assessing crop loss

2021 | Australian Macadamia Society | Fact Sheet

Understanding and quantifying in-field losses, evidence of which never makes it to the processor, is critical.

Ethepon in drought affected orchards (Feb/March 2020 MacGroup)

2020 | Penter M | Presentation

South African expert Mark Penter discusses the current climate changes facing the macadamia industry and the implications for agriculture for more broadly.

Macadamia physiology and nut quality (Feb/March 2020 MacGroup)

2020 | Penter M | Presentation

South African expert Mark Penter has completed extensive research on South African orchards during challenging climatic seasons and led numerous research trials to improve on-farm practices which directly impact kernel quality and post-harvest efficiency.

Maintaining quality after harvest

2020 | Jones K | Article

Post-harvest management is just as important as insect and disease control. Growers can suffer significant losses through poor post-harvest handling practices that allow mould, brown centres, germination or discolouration to increase during storage on-farm. An understanding of the biological and physical processes that affect nut quality is essential. This article summarises past research on maintaining quality after harvest.

Ethepon use in challenging environmental conditions (Video, Feb/March 2020 MacGroup)

2020 | Penter M | Video

South African expert Mark Penter discusses the current climate changes facing the macadamia industry and the implications for agriculture for more broadly.

Using ethepon in macadamias

2020 | Australian Macadamia Society | Fact Sheet

The number of macadamia growers using ethephon (e.g. Ethrel) is increasing as they discover its benefits in shortening the harvest season and enabling better orchard management. Those experienced in successfully using ethephon caution that attention must be paid to a range of important factors. This fact sheet explains how ethephon works and outlines the latest information on using ethephon, based on grower experience and research in Australia and South Africa.

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This website has been partly funded by Hort Innovation, using the macadamia research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government.