NT Country Hour By Daniel Fitzgerald
Updated about 2 hours ago
PHOTO: The Top End mango harvest is expected to have two peaks because of uneven flowering. (ABC Rural: Daniel Fitzgerald)
MAP: Katherine 0850
The Top End mango season is forecast to have a split harvest; with two distinct peaks, leading to a reduction in staff numbers on Northern Territory mango farms and packing sheds.
00:00 AUDIO: Boyd Arthur says the Top End mango harvest will be split (ABC Rural)
Early flowering brought on by cold weather across the Top End was followed by a second round of flowering.
Supply and development manager for the Australian Mango Industry Association (AMIA), Boyd Arthur, said the two flowering periods meant most Top End mangoes will be picked in two separate peaks.
"The first peak in Darwin will be around September and then the next one in early November," he said.
"Katherine's first peak will be late September, October and then the next one in late November."
This split harvest is expected influence harvest logistics such as trucking, with a possible reduction in staff numbers for some packing sheds.
"In November there will be quite a bit of competition to get the timing right around logistics around trucking, but I think after last season being the biggest season ever in Australia, trucking is not going to be a problem," Mr. Arthur said.
"Around the labour crews in sheds, pack houses, and on farms, we are seeing growers probably reduce the number of staff needed to go the distance over the period.
"Then in November they will bulk the numbers up a bit to get through.
"Logistically as a whole, this year will be no dramas, I can't see any spots that will give us a headache, at this stage."
Mr Arthur said consumers would not notice the split harvest because of the cross over between the Darwin and Katherine picking dates.
"From a retail, wholesale, and a consumer end, we are seeing from the start of the season a nice steady flow of fruit down to the marketplace up until November," he said.
"Then we will get a whole lot of volume in November and away it will go, so really from the consumer end we will see a nice steady flow of fruit.
"At the Darwin and Katherine end we are going to see windows of timing that suit each region, it is just going to be a bit of a cross-over and a juggle and off they go again."
Mr Arthur said it was crucial for the mango industry to work with retailers to manage their marketing and supply through the AMIA's weekly crop forecasts.
"It is so important that everybody through the supply chain is using at the forecasts, it is very accurate, it is put together with growers right across the whole country in each region," he said.
"For them to understand the volume heading their way to get their marketing and promotions to support the volume, to get consumers feeding around the peaks of the highs of the huge volumes is so important to get right."