A STEADY supply of quality mangoes is expected this season as the harvest gets underway in North Queensland.
Growers in the Burdekin and Bowen regions started picking this week, with Dimbulah and Mareeba growers set to join them in the coming weeks.
Marto’s Mangoes growers Ben and Ash-Lei Martin, at Delta, near Bowen, began picking on November 4 and said growing conditions had been excellent to yield great quality fruit.
Last year, a glut of mangoes drove the prices down for growers due to a clash in output between northern growing regions.
Mr Martin said this year, the harvest would be spaced out in the regions, which was a win-win for growers and consumers.
“There doesn’t seem to be the large volume of Kensington Prides around as last year, which should keep the prices up a bit, however consumers will be getting great quality mangoes,” Mr Martin said.
“We had a clash between the growing regions last year, which meant there was an oversupply of fruit.
“This year the Katherine fruit has almost been picked… it all looks like it will flow from one region onto the next so there will be a good steady supply of mangoes for the whole season.
“It should be the best of both worlds where growers will hopefully be happy to get decent returns and consumers will be happy there is not a shortage or quality issues that you can see in oversupply years.”
Mr Martin said trees that were battered in the Bowen region during Cyclone Debbie last year were starting to come back and Bowen-Burdekin growers would continue to pick for the next four to five weeks.
Mareeba grower and Australian Mango Industry Association deputy chairman John Nucifora said Dimbulah growers would start picking in two weeks, with Mareeba growers starting in early December. The season will continue until March.
Mr Nucifora said more than 10 million trays of mangoes were produced Australia wide last year, with Mareeba growers producing about 2.5 million trays.
He said he expected there would be a similar yield this year.
“The season is not looking too bad, we’ve had good growing conditions of late despite the cold weather and a lot of variance from day to night in climate, but apart from that I think we’ll have a fair crop and look forward to strong prices," Mr Nucifora said.
“Queensland produces half of Australia’s production and Mareeba-Dimbulah produces half of that again, so a quarter of Australia’s production is from this area.
“It is one of the leading quality growing areas in Australia.”