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Dragonfruit new cash crop

Updated 9 hours 38 minutes ago


When it comes to growing mangoes, West Australian Eddie Smith says he's made every mistake in the book.

His approach to giving anything a go, has led the grower to diversify this season with two new crops: passionfruit and dragonfruit.

However, water security remains a real concern for all Carnarvon growers, most of whom are currently on 80 per cent of their water allocation.

Deciding just what to plant and what to pull out this season has been playing a lot on Mr Smith's mind.

"It's an absolute gamble right now,"
he said.

"We're counting on getting some winter rain to help carry us through, because we don't have enough water for what we've got.

"I can't keep watering both the older mango trees and the new trees, so I've bitten the bullet and we're letting some of the older trees go."

Two flows in the Gascoyne River earlier this year boosted growers' water allocations but the future remains uncertain.

Eddie says if he had the last 20 per cent of his water allocation, he'd be would have meant he could keep his older trees.

"Right now is when you really need to look after the trees because they're growing the branches to support next year's crop.

"It's like growing mangoes, I've made every mistake known to man... dragonfruit is probably going to go through the same process."

Eddie Smith, Carnarvon mango grower

"They're supposed to be building up their carbohydrate reserves for the new fruit, so normally at this time of year we're belting the water into them."

Calypso Plantations deals predominantly in mangoes but with a tough last season under his belt, Eddie thinks it's time to spread the risk and try something different.

"We did some test runs with dragonfruit and were averaging $5-$6 per fruit, which isn't bad.

"We got roughly 10 to 12 fruit per plant when we picked, but if you do too much we'll flood the market."

After an initial hiccup planting his dragonfruit in pots upside down, Eddie is now marking his 150 saplings to ensure he has them the right way up.

"It's like growing mangoes, I've made every mistake known to man and I'm inventing them now.

"Dragonfruit is probably going to go through the same process."

Eddie also plans to trial passionfruit this season.

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While "Flavor" is very subjective, and each country that grows mangoes is very nationalistic, these are the mango varieties that are the most sought after around the world because of sweetnesss (Brix) and demand.

The Chaunsa has a Brix rating in the 22 degree level which is unheard of!
Carabao claims to be the sweetest mango in the world and was able to register this in the Guiness book of world records.
Perhaps it is time for a GLOBAL taste test ???

In alphabetical order by Country....



Alphonso (mango)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alphonso (हापुस Haapoos in Marathi, હાફુસ in Gujarati, ಆಪೂಸ್ Aapoos in Kannada) is a mango cultivar that is considered by many[who?] to be one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. 

It has considerable shelf life of a week after it is ripe making it exportable. 

It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in Kokan region of western India.

 It is in season April through May and the fruit wei…

INDIA 2016 : Mango production in state likely to take a hit this year

TNN | May 22, 2016, 12.32 PM IST

Mangaluru: Vagaries of nature is expected to take a toll on the production of King of Fruits - Mango - in Karnataka this year. A combination of failure of pre-monsoon showers at the flowering and growth stage and spike in temperature in mango growing belt of the state is expected to limit the total production of mango to an estimated 12 lakh tonnes in the current season as against 14 lakh tonnes in the last calendar year.

However, the good news for fruit lovers is that this could see price of mangoes across varieties decrease marginally by 2-3%. This is mainly on account of 'import' of the fruit from other mango-growing states in India, said M Kamalakshi Rajanna, chairperson, Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation Ltd.

Karnataka is the third largest mango-growing state in India after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Inaugurating a two-day Vasanthotsava organized by Shivarama Karantha Pilikula Nisargadhama and the Corporation at P…

Mangoes date back 65 million years according to research ...

Experts at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP) here have traced the origin of mango to the hills of Meghalaya, India from a 65 million year-old fossil of a mango leaf. 

The earlier fossil records of mango (Mangifera indica) from the Northeast and elsewhere were 25 to 30 million years old. The 'carbonized leaf fossil' from Damalgiri area of Meghalaya hills, believed to be a mango tree from the peninsular India, was found by Dr R. C. Mehrotra, senior scientist, BSIP and his colleagues. 

After careful analysis of the fossil of the mango leaf and leaves of modern plants, the BISP scientist found many of the fossil leaf characters to be similar to mangifera.

An extensive study of the anatomy and morphology of several modern-day species of the genus mangifera with the fossil samples had reinforced the concept that its centre of origin is Northeast India, from where it spread into neighbouring areas, says Dr. Mehrotra. 

The genus is believed to have disseminated into neighb…