AUSTRALIA : Record hot temperatures around Darwin stopping most mango trees from flowering

ABC Rural By Matt Brann

Updated about 5 hours ago

The Top End of the Northern Territory is having one of its hottest May's on record, which is causing issues for a number of mango plantations.

00:00 AUDIO: How are mango trees handling the record hot temperatures? (ABC Rural)

President of the NT Mango Industry Association, Leo Skliros, said the weather had been very unusual and only 20 to 25 percent of mango trees in the Darwin rural area had flowered.

"The industry likes to see five days under 20 degrees to start getting some flowering happening," he said.

"If you don't get that cooler weather, it normally ends up pushing a new flush and then you have to wait six to eight weeks."

The temperature is yet to fall below 21 degrees in Darwin this year.

Mr Skliros said of the mango trees that had flowered, it was mostly due to crop manipulation, but not all farms had that luxury.

"[Some farms] have been able to be manipulated into earlier timings, so there's some orchards that have pretty much all flowered and various ones that are anywhere from 5 percent up to 50 percent [flowering], and there's a lot of farms that are just sitting there and they haven't even tried to push flowers yet.

"So it can be a gamble when you try to push an early flowering. If you don't get it when you it push it you end up getting a late crop."

Mr Skliros expected consumers would notice the consequences of the warmer nights when going to buy the first mangoes of the season.

"[There'll be] fairly high priced through August and September because only 20 to 25 percent of the Darwin crops are spread into those two months,"
he said.

"There seems to be a bit of an emergence happening now, so we'll just have to wait and see what kind of volume that's going to be.

"With the hotter days ,we're experiencing that's going to bring the crop a little bit forward, so that's why we still have a few weeks left to fall into that September harvest."

According to the weather bureau, there are no cold snaps on the immediate horizon and the three-month outlook is for warmer than average conditions across the Top End.