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DECEMBER 2020 UPDATE

UPDATE FROM SGM

During November we completed three supplier feedback sessions, the meetings were positive and constructive and the participants represented a good cross section of growers. The information gathered will assist the company in completing a new strategic plan to ensure Suncoast Gold is well positioned for the future.
The final deliveries of NIS from the 2020 crop have now been completed and our receivals area is being prepared for off-season maintenance. For 2020 Suncoast Gold received a higher volume of NIS from a growing list of suppliers and I expect we will have taken in 500t more than in 2019.

While we are still processing and selling the 2020 crop we are watching the market with an eye on the 2021 crop. Many factors are currently at play such as the increasing value of the Australian Dollar, trade tensions in certain markets and planned expansion in global production of macadamia. Key changes in the factory such as increased dicing and roasting capacity will set Suncoast apart from other processors to ensure we are able to market our full crop and maximise sales prices for many years.
Green and Gold continue to offer SGM growers excellent exposure to all key markets and customers for kernel and NIS. With sales in excess of $200 million in 2020, Green and Gold are already planning to expand their reach in 2021 to ensure Suncoast Gold suppliers have the ability to maximise the value of the their crop.
I would like to wish all suppliers, staff and shareholders a safe and happy festive season.

Ben Adams
GENERAL MANAGER

DRIVING ORCHARD PRODUCTIVITY

PRODUCTIVITY AND IOM - At a recent AMS meeting, growers were challenged to focus on productivity as it was predicted that growers with lower productivity are exposed to the most risk from future price drops.  At Suncoast Gold Macadamias we encourage all growers to focus on improving their productivity to buffer against market fluctuations and climate uncertainty. Integrated Orchard Management (IOM) is proven to improve productivity of established macadamia orchards. In the last newsletter we focused on the calls to action or RED FLAGS including exposed roots, sparse canopies, erosion and drainage issues. DOWNLOAD THE IOM GUIDES 

BUNDY STRESS MITIGATION TRIAL
AND NEW MACADAMIA TECH HUB

Suncoast Gold Macadamias are pleased to announce the launch of the new Macadamia Innovation and Tech Hub which has just been released as an interactive grower portal to track the progress of the Innovation and Technology trial, focused on stress mitigation based at RedRock Macadamias in Bundaberg.  The trial is being run in collaboration with a growing list of stakeholders including some of the industries leading providers of advanced technology solutions for macadamia production.  With diverse solutions from high-tech soil moisture and sap flow monitoring, in-field communications, farm management software, precise drone imagery and spray applications.

The easy to use tech hub explains the methodology and details of the trial and is designed as a multimedia platform for sharing information about the trial from application rates and data analysis to detail about the products and contractors used.

READ MORE ABOUT THE TRIAL
MACADAMIA NUT BORER In many areas Macadamia nut borer moths have been active for a few weeks and egg laying is starting to show up.  Now is the time for releasing MAC-TRIX parasitic wasps to aid in the control of Nut Borer.  Nut Borer moths traditionally fly in November, lay tiny 1mm eggs, and the larvae can start to cause significant damage by mid December if not kept in check.  Other caterpillars such as twig girdler can also damage nut at this stage so species ID can be important. For more information see the Bioresources Mactrix page 
COMPLETE SPREADING OF ORGANIC MATTER NOW - The addition of organic matter has been key in building resilience to dry times and has quite literally saved the crop in many areas during the dry 2019/2020 season. The withholding period for spreading rotted husk, manures, un-certified compost and grazing stock is 120 days prior to harvest (Code of Sound Orchard Practices COSOP). All spreading should be complete by end November or earlier for early varieties. DOWNLOAD COSOP NOW
ORCHARD HYGINE  Keeping the orchard floor clean is a key pest control pillar and is known to be important in the integrated control of many pests including kernel grub, nut borer, seed weevil, rats and others.  This may also be the case with Leptocoris bug which breeds on the ground and then moves into the canopy to feed later in the season. Be prepared to mulch fallen nut and excess leaf, this can be side-thrown under the trees for added moisture conservation and weed suppression in the tree row.
INTERROW MANAGEMENT To promote beneficial insects in the orchard and reduce mowing hours, a 1.5-2 m mohawk/strip in the center of the interrow can be left long and mowed only intermittently to provide a sanctuary for beneficial insects.  It is important that headlands, fences and adjacent areas continue to be managed for rat and invasive weed control.  We have growers that are actively testing some of the latest methods of interrow management and seeding so contact us if you would like to discuss or have any thoughts to share. Bioresources has a huge library of  freely available information on interrow management READ MORE
SPOTTING BUG MONITORING As the season progresses, nuts stung by Spotting Bugs may not necessarily drop to the ground.  From December on, stung nuts may be held in the tree so you cant rely on fallen nut alone for monitoring.  Complement your monitoring by cutting nut from the trees in known hotspots and looking for live insects in the trees, on traps or trap hedges - see NSW DPI Spotting Bug Factsheet  for more info or contact Megan Boote 0484 099 462 to discuss the monitoring on your orchard.  
GREEN VEG BUG, FRUIT SPOTTING BUG , BANANA SPOTTING BUG OR LEPTOCORIS ? All these bugs are known to sting though hard shells and will continue feeding at least until each variety reaches full maturity.  Insects may breed within the orchard or may come in as flights of adults.  Species identification is important as this will determine the best methods of monitoring and control.  If you need help with monitoring please get in touch with us ASAP.
NUTRITION  - Peter Anderson is a respected agronomist from Haifa Fertilisers based in Bundaberg, we quizzed him on his thoughts for macadamia nutrient requirements for the summer months.

N-P-K and Mineral Nutrition of Macadamia During Summer

Macadamia trees evolved living under the canopy of the once extensive sub-tropical rainforests that were in SE Qld and Nth NSW. Because of competition in this habitat, the Macadamia has adapted the ability to extract soil minerals such as Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P) and Calcium (Ca) for survival, even when these minerals are in low supply in the soil.

In nature, these minerals are supplied by organic material falling to the ground from the canopy above, eventually creating a natural organic “mulch” which, in conjunction with the soil, supplied the minerals that Macadamia required. This low-concentration mineral supply came slowly, but constantly, to the tree’s root system. Water and nutrients were more available during summer. READ THE FULL ARTICLE

END OF SEASON FUNCTIONS

2020 End of Season Grower functions
All Shareholders and Suppliers are invited to attend the end of season functions in their local area with the Suncoast Gold Macadamias team.  We want to thank all growers who have supplied this season and helped make the 2020 season - our 35th year in the industry - a success for Suncoast Gold Macadamias and our growers.
Its been a tough year for many so take this opportunity to network with fellow growers and shareholders in a casual end of season get together for great food and a few drinks from 4.30 PM onwards
GYMPIE - Thursday 3rd December - Kandanga Kitchen
BUNDABERG – Friday 4th December - Rowers on the River
BEERWAH - Wednesday 9th December - Beerwah Golf Club
Contact your Suncoast Gold Grower Services Representative for more information.
To RSVP please reply to this message or contact us at the office.  We are looking forward to seeing you there!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS OF THE 2020 INDUSTRY ACHEIVEMENT AWARDS

A number of Suncoast Gold Suppliers and Shareholders have again been recognised for their commitment to excelling in production and quality with the AMS Industry Achievement Awards announced recently. 

Congratulations to Garry and Andrea Sheppard - Winners of the Grower of the Year Award 2020 for their Ozmac Orchard in Gympie - Read the full article on the award winning Ozmac Orchard by Megan Boote in this months AMS Bulletin.

Congratulations to the Shareholders and Suppliers recognised by the AMS as Regional Award winners and nominees including RedRock Macadamias, Macadamia Farm Management, Bruce Maguire, Gary, Julie and Mitchell Davis, Henry and Jarod Agostinelli, and Ted and Tracey Benjafield. 

Awards are determined by the Industry Benchmarking Team using the 2019 yield data. Talk to us if you would like to join the Benchmarking program for the 2020 season.
INNOVATION AWARD FOR BLANCO'S MOBILE DEHUSKING UNIT Daniel and Belinda Blanco, macadamia farmers based at Wolvi near Gympie, set themselves very high standards for production, efficiency and safety. Megan Boote caught up with Daniel and Belinda to find out about their AMS award winning mobile dehusking and sorting plant.
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List used farm machinery on the Mac Growers Farm Equipment Buy and Sell Page. We now have around 500 macadamia growers, service providers and industry representatives on the page so items are selling fast.  If you don't have Facebook and have an item to list email megan.boote@suncoastgold.com.au or text 0484 099 462 
The Buy and Sell page can also be used as a DISCUSSION forum for anything to do with macadamia growing, harvesting and sorting equipment.

CHRISTMAS OPENING HOURS

The office will close for the Christmas period at 4 pm on Friday the 18th Dec 2020 and we’ll re-open on Monday the 4th Jan 2021
Christmas Orders are now closed but there is limited stock of 1 kg packs available to purchase at the front office.
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