Overall volume to the factory is expected to be up on 2019 and Sound Kernel recoveries are also up which is great news for farm incomes given the record high price in 2020. This was a welcome bonus, considering the dry growing season, and possibly partly due to thinner shells on some varieties. The 2020 season has bought some interesting challenges for growers varying between farms and across the regions. However, for many growers their volumes are down due to a combination of hail, small nut, pests and lack of water to fill the crop. Despite the higher than average kernel recoveries, Unsound or Reject Kernel percentages have been above average for much of the year with Internal Discolouration (Brown Centres), insect damage and some immaturity being the main issues. Due to the relatively dry harvest season, mould, discolouration and commercial grades have been less of an issue.
The flowers for the new crop are well on their way and attention is turning to preparation for the 2021 crop with pest control, pruning, nutrition and orchard management on the agenda for growers.