Pecan industry set to take flight across nation

Australian pecan industry set to take flight as interest swells


Farming Small Areas News
Aa

A re-jig of the Australian Pecan Association has it ready for future growth.

See the full April edition of Smart Farmer here

Aa
ADAPTABLE: Australian Pecan Association president, Scott Clark, Lismore, says the industry has great expansion potential with pecan trees able to grow in a wide range of Australian climates.

ADAPTABLE: Australian Pecan Association president, Scott Clark, Lismore, says the industry has great expansion potential with pecan trees able to grow in a wide range of Australian climates.

THE trees have no major insect pests or diseases, they can live up to 400 years and their produce is currently bringing the same money per kilogram as macadamias.

READY: President of the Australian Pecan Association, Scott Clark, Lismore, NSW, with a prime example of the nut which he says has a lot going for it.

READY: President of the Australian Pecan Association, Scott Clark, Lismore, NSW, with a prime example of the nut which he says has a lot going for it.

They sound almost too good to be true.

Welcome to the burgeoning world of pecan nuts.

The Australian pecan industry is steadying itself for expansion as existing growers look to invest further while those outside the industry are having a serious look at the native American nut.

A name change for the association and a new logo are just some of many steps being undertaken in the industry's gradual rise.

The Australian Pecan Association takes over from what was formerly the Australian Pecan Growers Association.

President of the APA, Scott Clark, said the change was implemented to better encompass associated industries like supply chain partners, processors, bankers, lawyers and anyone connected to pecan nuts.

"If we get a whole industry wide understanding of how things grow, everything is going to go a lot better," Mr Clark said.

The organisation is also nearing completion of a grower's guide which it hopes to have out by the end of the year.

Scott Clark has held the presidency for the past decade as well as looking after his own 5000-tree orchard at Lismore, NSW.

He said he's seen significant growth in the industry in the past two years.

"When I first became president 10 years ago I used to get one or two inquires about pecans a year. Now I'm getting one or two a week about potential new growers," he said.

That push comes from demand. China, India, Korea and the United Arab Emirates are all making inquiries to secure Australian pecans.

"The problem is we don't have the nuts. We are trying to increase the profile of pecans," Mr Clark said.

GROWTH: Pecan nut trees have a long lifespan but can start producing about 1kg of nuts per tree after about six years.

GROWTH: Pecan nut trees have a long lifespan but can start producing about 1kg of nuts per tree after about six years.

"They are quite a hardy tree, adaptable to a wide climate area, they yield well and the price is quite good at the moment at sort of $5 to $6 per kilo for nut-in-shell at three to four tonnes per hectare so you can get a good return."

While that return price is comparable to the pin-up boy of the tree nut industry, macadamias, pecan nuts may very well have a few on-farm advantages.

"Pecans will grow in a wider range of soil types and climates than what macadamias will," Mr Clark said.

"Macadamias won't tolerate frost whereas pecans like a good frost during winter."

MONEY: The current price for pecan nuts is between $5 to $6 per kilogram.

MONEY: The current price for pecan nuts is between $5 to $6 per kilogram.

After about six years, trees will bear about 6kg per tree, hitting full production at around 15 to 18 years where they can put out as much as 20kg per tree.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by