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NORTHERN TERRITORIES, AUSTRALIA : Ord mango season splits in two with sudden lack of ripe fruit

Updated about 6 hours ago

Mango growers in the east Kimberley are experiencing an unusual season this year.

00:00 AUDIO: Ord mango grower Quentin Parker says it is an unusual season this year. (ABC Rural)

There has been a sudden lack of ripe fruit, with reports of a four-week wait until picking can restart.

Windy weather, fruit drop and over zealous wildlife are some other factors being blamed for the unusual season.

Kununurra mango grower Quentin Parker said he had never seen such a situation in his 25 years in the industry.

"(It's been) a very early season," he said. 

"(I've) not seen some of the varieties like Haden, Irwin, Tommy Atkins, those sorts of varieties."

"They were the first to flower and obviously some of the first to come off."

PHOTO: Kununurra farmer Quentin Parker says while the quality of Ord mangoes this year is "unexceptional", the demand is enormous. (Tom Edwards)

Mr Parker said for the first time he expected there would be a four-week wait before picking any more mangoes.

He said Kensington Pride were the only mangoes which had had four flowerings this season.

"They are going to torture me for the next two months, where I get very little through the shed, but I will be compelled to pack it because the demand at the moment is enormous,"  Mr Parker said.

Maybe we've burnt the Kimberley once too often and there's nothing out there for them to eat.

Quentin Parker, mango grower

The impact from wildlife — particularly magpie geese and bats — had been particularly severe this year, he added.

"We've had huge infestations of bats this year and they are also getting at the fruit at the very top of the trees.

"I do have now some very fat magpie geese and they are so fat they actually can't roost in the trees now."

Mr Parker said he had a personal opinion as to why there appeared to be more animals eating mangoes.

"Maybe we've burnt the Kimberley once too often and there's nothing out there for them to eat,"  he said.

"So where are they going to go? Kununurra. It's nice and green and lush, and lots of things for them to eat."

Ord Mango Growers Association secretary Geoff Warnock said it was a lacklustre season.

But Mr Warnock said the tight supply, also mirrored in the Northern Territory, meant growers were getting good prices.

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