Almonds Australia

Almonds (Prunis dulcis)

The almond pages on this site include listings of almond nurseries, growers, sales as well as industry overviews, propagation information, almond products and a range of other almond related information.

Logo: ConferenceAustralian Almond Conference, 2012

The Almond Board of Australia will be conducting the 14th Australian Almond Conference, from 8th to 10th October 2012 at the Novotel Barossa Valley Resort, South Australia.

The Conference held with the funding support of Horticulture Australia and the many conference sponsors, provides both an opportunity to stay up to date with industry and research developments and to link with suppliers and other growers that can benefit your business.

For more information see the Australian Almond Conference page.

 

Although almonds have been cultivated since ancient times in northern India and across the middle east to Turkey, the U.S. is the world’s primary producer of almonds, most of which are grown in California.

In Australia, almonds have been cultivated since the 1950’s and 60’s but only recently have they been grown in significant numbers. In the late 1990s around 4,000 hectares were planted with almonds, today around 27,000 hectares are under cultivation nationally. The primary commercial areas are located in south-eastern Australia and include the Willunga, Barossa Valley and Riverland areas of South Australia as well as the Riverina in New South Wales and the Sunraysia region. The Sunraysia region accounts for nearly three quarters of Australia’s production.

 

Australian Almond Industry

Photo: Almond flower - courtesy of Australian Board of AustraliaThe Australian almond industry is one of the fastest growing in the world and Australia is now the second largest producer in the world behind California.

The area of current production is 28,900 ha (2010) producing around 40,000 kernal tonnes (2011).By 2015 the area under production is expected to exceed 34,000 ha producing an estimated 85,000 tonnes.

Almonds are Australia’s fastest growing horticultural industry servicing an expanding domestic market and major export markets in India, Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the Middle East.

By 2015 Australia’s almond industry will be worth nearly $520 million at the farmgate, with exports accounting for nearly 80% of sales. (Almond Board of Australia)

The almond industry began in South Australia but almonds are now also grown extensively in Victoria and New South Wales.

Most commonly grown varieties are Nonpareil Californian Paper Shell) (51%), Carmel (32%), Price (12%), Peerless and others (5%). These are irrigated by drip irrigation (90%), sprinklers (9%), other (1%)

 

Almond Board of Australia (ABA)
Logo: Almond BoardAs the Australian almond industry’s peak industry body, the ABA facilitates further growth of the industry. The ABA seeks to maximise industry profitability and ensure its sustainability, by providing a platform for industry members to collectively respond to industry wide issues, to invest in research and marketing, share knowledge, and interact with government and other stakeholders. Access the website of the
Almond Board of Australia for more information.


Right – Almond Blossom – Courtesy of the Almond Board of Australia


 

Publications and Information

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Festivals and Exhibitions

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Cultivation
In cooler climates almonds can be successfully grown if the site is warm and protected from cold wind. For the garden choose a smaller self- fertile variety. Compact size trees are easier to net against birds. A
nursery specialising in nut trees should be able to provide you with advice on suitable varieties.

Pollination
The majority of commercial almond cultivars are self-incompatible. They are reliant on the honey bee industry for pollination. Almond growers pay for the location of honeybee hives in almond orchards during the flowering season. Little honey is produced from almond flowers and the honey is dark and has a strong flavour. It is estimated that in 2 – 3 years time, when Australia’s planted orchards come into full production, Australia will need approximately 200,000 hives to service the almond industry. In Australia it has been found around seven hives per hectare in established treesis the optimum hive/hectare ratio (Somerville 2007). Use the following link for a good coverage of information on honeybee pollination of almonds.

Harvesting is usually undertaken in February and March. The traditional method is by knocking the almond nuts off by hand and collecting them. Larger plantations use mechanical pickers. Green almonds are available from late October into November.

Varieties
Almonds are categorised into three shell types:

  • Paper shell: can be easily rubbed off by hand
  • Soft shell: can be easily removed by hand but firmer
  • Hard shell: similar to other nuts

The following are popular varities grown in Australia. Prospective growers need to seek expert advice on variety selection to suit varying climate and soil conditions. The primary comercial varieties comprising 95% of Australia’s almond production are:

  • Nonpareil (about 1/2 of Australian production)
  • Pollinating varieties including, Peerless, Carmel, Price, Neplus and Fritz

Varieties commonly used in the home garden include:

  • Hard shell varieties – “Mission”, “Peerless” and “Fritz”
  • Soft shell varieties – “Johnston Prolific” and “Brandis Jordan”
  • Paper shell varieties – “Nonpareil”, “Ne Plus Ultra” and “IXL”

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Health and Nutrition
Almonds are great for vitamin E. 20 nuts (a handful 30g aprox) provides 85% of the recommended daily intake for Vitamin E. See the
Health- Almond page for more details. See also the Almond Products and the Almond Recipes pages.

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Almond Tree Nurseries

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Australian Almond Growers

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Australian Almond Sales

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Australian Almond Exports

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Additional Information

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Overseas Sites

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