This could be the best macadamia season in nearly a decade
NORTH coast macadamia growers are gearing up for a cracker season, with early predictions suggesting up to $70 million worth of nuts will be produced.
The tough nut industry even managed to emerge unscathed from the torrential rain that hammered the region in the wake of cyclone Marcia.
McLeans Ridges macadamia farmer Charles Burgess said it's shaping up to be the best macadamia season he's seen in nine years.
"We had a dry spring, which is perfect because the trees flower then, and we've had a warm, wet summer," he said.
"But we are still in the middle of cyclone season, so things can change anytime," he said.
"Not only has the growing season been good, but the prices are where they should be."
Mr Burgess' macadamia farm was hand-picked as one of the pit-stops for NSW Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson who was in the region touring various agricultural industries.
"The purpose of my visit here today is to get to meet farmers and to talk about the various industries that the North Coast is very well known for," she said.
"This is a really important areas for macadamias and we need to make sure our growers are happy and have the research and development programs underway that they need to secure their particular harvest and their particular crops.
"The tropical cyclone was very threatening, but it seems as though, for the most part, that this area has been able to appreciate the good rain but not the strong winds that are usually associated with that."
Ms Hodgkinson also visited he Department of Primary Industries' entomology team, based in Wollongbar, who are working with growers to reduce the risks associated with pests.
Australia is the world's biggest producer of macadamias half of which are grown on the NSW north coast.