From Bhutan to Australia, the NSW Department of Primary Industries citrus production program is helping deliver mandarins to consumers across the world.
Growers in mandarin production areas, including Murray Valley, Riverina, Narromine, Bourke, Central Burnett in Queensland and Western Australia, are set to benefit from a new comprehensive guide to production basics and the latest scientific research results.
NSW DPI southern horticulture systems leader Myles Parker said the NSW DPI mandarin production manual was produced as part of an Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) project.
“The ACIAR project saw NSW DPI scientists work to lift mandarin production in Bhutan and respond to the growing demand for quality Australian mandarins from export markets,” Mr Parker said.
“Mandarins are a popular fruit and demand for easy-peel citrus fruit is increasing world-wide.
“The local industry is competing for lucrative export markets and with our clean and green images we are well-placed to meet that demand.
“This guide gives growers the information needed to refine their production systems and target premium markets.”
Mr Parker said the manual features information about current and new mandarin varieties with a strong focus on strategies to achieve low-seed fruit.
“Crop management and variety selection to grow seedless and low-seed fruit is an industry priority with many markets gearing to accept near seedless fruit,” he said.
Rootstocks and compatibility with mandarin varieties, planning new mandarin orchards and mandarin diseases and disorders, supported by high quality images to assist producers in identifying pests and diseases, are covered.
In 2017, new superior rootstock selections were released to the Australian citrus industry following collection and evaluation by NSW DPI with support from ACIAR.
Mandarin exports delivered $138 million to the local economy in 2017 and Australian mandarin plantings have expanded from 5310 hectares in 2014 to 6199 hectares in 2016.