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AUSTRALIA : Tough mango season for Carnarvon growers

ABC Rural

Posted 2 hours 53 minutes ago


MAP: Carnarvon 6701

It's been a tough mango season for growers in Carnarvon, in Western Australia's north-west.

Grower Eddie Smith from Calypso Plantations is right in the thick of picking his crop but water restrictions and two heatwave events late last year have meant quite a lot of his fruit was burnt.

"We've got through all our R2E2s, we finished picking those three days ago. We were down 35 per cent this year,"
he said.

"The really good outside fruit got big black burn marks on it, which is disappointing. But we've done just under 1000 trays of Valencia Pride this week."

Mr Smith will have a couple of days off now, while waiting for his Calypso mangoes to ripen a little more.

That'll be followed by picking an African mango variety known as Heidi.

"They're a green and purple fruit. The Heidis were grown by a number of plantations but they suffer terribly from sunburn.

"The band Killing Heidi were around at the time and a lot of people were pulling Heidis out of the plantations.

Heidis were grown by a number of plantations but they suffer terribly from sunburn. The band Killing Heidi were around at the time and a lot of people were pulling Heidis out of the plantations.
Eddie Smith, Carnarvon mango grower

"We've persisted with them and it extends our season. Everyone's just about finished but we'll be picking for another two or three weeks."

In terms of prices, Mr Smith says they started out well but have dropped in the last five days.

"It's usual because a peak of what's coming out of Carnarvon has hit the market floor.

"I think it'll stabilise and hopefully as the amount of fruit falls away the price will come back up for us."

Mr Smith made the decision to turn off water to number of his older mango trees during the water restrictions, which have been in place for a couple of months.

He says the decision has cost him a couple of thousand trays of fruit.

Meanwhile, the much anticipated arrival of water in the parched Gascoyne River tomorrow is very welcome news.

Mr Smith says he'll be going down to the river.

"It's an absolute must, I think Thursday evening we might have a cold cordial in one hand and sit under a gum tree and watch it flow past."

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