A WARM winter has meant mangoes will be rumbling their way south a touch earlier than expected this year with Northern Territory pickers already hard at it.
The Australian Mango Industry Association (AMIA)'s weekly mango output forecast and report shows Darwin producers put out 85,000 7kg trays of mangoes last week with Katherine and Mataranka growers expected to come online in late September.
Peak season for the Northern Territory is predicted to be from mid October to mid November with some 3.9 million trays forecast to flow from the Top End.
Regional reports from the AMIA's weekly round-up indicate healthy signs for the various production zones:
- Darwin: Volume to market is starting to increase, which primarily consists of Kensington Pride. Small amounts of R2E2 and other varieties are also being dispatched. Volume will steadily increase over the next few weeks.
- Katherine: Growers are experiencing late flowering/early fruit set, with picking due to start late September. A strong volume is expected.
- Bowen / Burdekin: Mixed to strong flowering and early fruit set occurring. Harvest timing is expected to start around mid to late October.
- Mareeba / Dimbulah: The majority of main flowering is coming to an end, with some farms experiencing a second later flowering in recent weeks. Early fruit is now marble sized.
- South East Qld: This region is still in flowering but volume and timing is expected to be similar to last year at this stage.
Expected early season prices are delivering for growers as well, with class-1 trays of the Kensington Pride variety averaging $48 in Brisbane, $48.50 in Sydney, $53 in Melbourne and $63.50 in Adelaide.
Perfection Fresh reported its Calypso mango season began a month earlier than usual and will be available through retail channels from September until January.
Perfection Fresh chief executive officer, Michael Simonetta, said the main reason for the early start was a warmer winter in the growing region of the company.
“The NT mango trees are flowering early which means Calypso mangoes will be plentiful and available before the traditional mango season starts in October,” Mr Simonetta said.
“Harvest will begin mid-September and Calypso mangoes will appear on the shelves soon after, with peak volumes available from November.
“We’ll begin harvest once the conditions are perfect to ensure that we are supplying the great tasting Calypso mangoes that Australians are expecting."
Meanwhile, long-time mango industry advocate, Trevor Dunmall, has left the AMIA to take up a position with Plant Health Australia (PHA).
Mr Dunmall was the industry development manager for almost 14 years with mangoes.