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Macadamias 2020: full steam ahead!

Macadamias 2020: full steam ahead!

Capital investment by processors into cutting edge technology and the ever increasing range of macadamia products on shelves are clear indicators that South Africa’s industry remains on an upward trend in line with growing export demand. The market for macadamias...

Italian farming heritage burns bright at Low’s Creek

Italian farming heritage burns bright at Low’s Creek

Italian farmer takes lessons from Australians to pioneer macadamia crop in Mpumalanga from the late 1990s. Little remains of the Italian heritage at Low’s Creek and the community of settlers which once coloured the landscape with fruit and vegetable farming between...

Letter From the Editor | The Macadamia – Summer 2020 Edition

Letter From the Editor | The Macadamia – Summer 2020 Edition

As South Africa’s growing number of nut farmers gear up for the forthcoming macadamia harvest, external factors such as the coronavirus, President Donald Trump’s ongoing trade war with China and the devastating fires in Australia may all have a role to play in the...

Replace what you remove, for sustainable farming

Replace what you remove, for sustainable farming

Macadamias do not tolerate poor nutrition. The first signs of deficiencies are quickly shown by a decrease in production and gradual deterioration in the trees’ condition. Get your fertiliser regime right, however, and your orchard, and your business, will flourish....

Doing the very best for bees

Doing the very best for bees

A KwaZulu-Natal farmer who has taken up commercial beekeeping full-time says the delicate balance between profit margins and healthy bee swarms in macadamia orchards must be based on good communication and farmer education to ensure success. Despite a nasty attack...

Planning and designing effective windbreaks

Planning and designing effective windbreaks

As strong and persistent wind slows the growth and development of young macadamia trees and their subsequent flower and nut set, expert and consultant Kobus van Niekerk says the development of windbreaks and irrigation strategies specific to areas prone to such...

Rewarded for their contribution to agricultural sustainability

Rewarded for their contribution to agricultural sustainability

The macadamia industry’s contribution to South Africa has been noted, with one exporter scooping two awards for her efforts in industry transformation, farmer sustainability and earning forex for the country. Jill Whyte, chairperson of Green Farms Nut Company (GFNC),...

Look after your bees and they will look after your yield

Look after your bees and they will look after your yield

It is estimated that 160 000 bee hives are required to optimally pollinate 40 000 hectares of macadamias. Since there are not that many hives in the whole country, the need to protect what we have is crucial to ensure sustainable macadamia production. During a recent...

Macadamia revolution in Piet Retief

Macadamia revolution in Piet Retief

As the first farmer to venture into macadamia nut production in the Piet Retief area of Mpumalanga, Rian Maree has set the stage for further expansion of this industry across the province. Driving from the Lowveld region of Mbombela, down south towards Pongola, the...

Pruning large trees: short term loss, long term gain

Pruning large trees: short term loss, long term gain

The first commercial macadamias were planted more than 60 years ago in South Africa. Since many of those orchards are still in production, farmers face the challenge of managing tree height and size to ensure good yield and nut quality. This necessitates heavy...

Nuts about low-flow drip irrigation

Nuts about low-flow drip irrigation

New developments in irrigation technology have opened a world of possibilities for the macadamia nut industry. As farmers find that less is more when it comes to water flow, quality and yields are improving. “Low-flow drip irrigation has given me full control over...

Letter From the Editor – The Macadamia Spring Edition

Letter From the Editor – The Macadamia Spring Edition

In this, the last edition of The Macadamia for the year, we are delighted to join the industry in congratulating Jill Whyte, chairperson of the Green Farms Nut Company, on her recognition as Mpumalanga Female Exporter of the Year from the Department of Agriculture,...

Golden macadamias bring dead soils to life

Golden macadamias bring dead soils to life

At the height of one of the worst droughts in living memory and with the once rich and fertile soils devoid of life, a Zululand farmer set about planting macadamia orchards in old sugarcane fields near Richards Bay with just one thing on his mind, healthy vibrant...

Macadamia production is growing in the Southern Cape

Macadamia production is growing in the Southern Cape

A former Limpopo farmer who moved to the Western Cape after the settlement of a land claim on his property in 2000 has set the pace for macadamia crop growth in the most southerly region of South Africa. While KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga are better known for their...

How to plant macadamia trees

How to plant macadamia trees

Specialist consultant and owner of Advanced Macadamia Consulting Kobus van Niekerk details the best way to plant macadamia trees in a newly prepared orchard. Marking tree positions (pegging) Once the land has been prepared, the tree positions can be marked by pegging...

Succession planning: failing to prepare is preparing to fail

Succession planning: failing to prepare is preparing to fail

With the long term prospects of macadamia farming, planning for future generations is crucial to ensure the continued prosperity of the business. As a long term crop and one that can keep providing for multiple decades, macadamias require a long term view and a...

Collect nuts in no time with manual harvesters

Collect nuts in no time with manual harvesters

Anybody who has ever bent down to pick up one macadamia nut after the other has surely thought, ‘there must be a better way’. But large machines can be costly and economies of scale are necessary to make the expense feasible. This drove Macridge to create simpler,...

Letter from the Editor – The Macadamia Winter Edition 2019

Letter from the Editor – The Macadamia Winter Edition 2019

In this edition of The Macadamia, the strength and opportunities in South Africa’s industry are again emphasised, on the one hand by research and on the other, by a visiting group of farmers from Down Under. Despite the fact that macadamia trees are indigenous to...

Misunderstanding sapling manipulation puts mature Mac trees at risk

Misunderstanding sapling manipulation puts mature Mac trees at risk

In this technical article, macadamia expert, Kobus van Niekerk outlines how before a tree is topped it should be planted and well established in the orchard to prevent structural weaknesses once it matures and starts to yield.Many nurseries “top” trees but I have yet...

Mbombela fabrication plant sets the quality bar

Mbombela fabrication plant sets the quality bar

With his experience reaching as far back as his school days, Vincent Allan, who is the founder and owner of the Mpumalanga-based MacMachines, says the demand for high quality and made-to-spec plant for macadamia processing operations has resulted in deliveries as far...

Practical training grows mac farm manager skills

Practical training grows mac farm manager skills

A commercial grower training programme to shore up the ever widening skills gap in South Africa’s macadamia industry has successfully completed its first year, with a second group of youngsters signed up and busy learning how to manage the country’s orchards.A...

Mayo Macs breaks new ground with US partnership

Mayo Macs breaks new ground with US partnership

Mayo Macs has announced a landmark joint venture partnership with a United States-based nut pasteurisation company as the South African processor looks to extend its reputation for top quality kernel exports able to meet stringent international food safety...

GFNC price offer up by 20% in 2019

GFNC price offer up by 20% in 2019

Macadamia farmers at the recent Green Farms Nuts Company (GFNC) price offer meeting heard that the processors were gearing up for top prices and a bumper harvest, despite a growing preference for the Australian nut-in-shell product. GFNC CEO Allen Duncan...

Take cover: protect your resources with cover crops

Take cover: protect your resources with cover crops

Planting cover crops in macadamia orchards has innumerable benefits, including water savings, improved soil health, and trees that are less prone to stress – ultimately resulting in greater yields and profitability.Pristine orchards that are swept clean, without a...