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Circulation: With a circulation of more than 400 and readership of over 1300 the ‘In A Nutshell’ newsletter is available to the general public and interested parties via the Almond Board of Australian website www.australianalmonds.com.au, and high quality printed copies distributed to: Almond Board of Australia members, industry contacts within Australia and overseas, nut producing, distributing and marketing companies.
Why Become a Member? As a member you have a direct say about the future of the industry and direct access to our organisation. The ABA has undertaken industry-wide consultation to develop an Industry Strategic Plan which establishes funding priorities for the industry’s R&D and marketing programs. We aim to support our rapidly increasing industry by encouraging effective communication and co-operation between industry members. The ABA aims to keep members informed through a range of activities including: • Presentation of the Annual Almond Industry Conference • Distribution of the ABA’s quarterly newsletter “In a Nutshell” • Regular field days and regional meetings • Technical articles and ABA news in the “Australian Nutgrower” Journal • Collection and distribution of industry statistics • Access to regularly updated information via the ABA website To join the ABA please visit our website and download a membership form, or contact our office on 08 8582 2055 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In a Nutshell The Almond Board of Australia is the peak industry body representing the interest of almond growers, processors and marketers in Australia in matters of national importance including regulation, legislation, marketing research and development. In a Nutshell is published quarterly by the ABA to bring news to all industry contacts and members. Membership The Almond Board of Australia offers membership to growers, processors, marketers and interested parties. Please contact the Almond Board of Australia for current membership fees and inclusions.
publication does not necessarily reflect the views
of the Almond Board of Australia and unless otherwise specified, no products and/or services are endorsed by this organisation.
Editor Jo Ireland
Communications Manager Almond Board of Australia 9 William Street, PO Box 2246 BERRI SA 5343
t +61 8 8582 2055 f +61 8 8582 3503
e email@example.com w www.australianalmonds.com.au
Some of these projects were facilitated by HAL in partnership with the Almond Board of Australia. They were funded by the R&D levy and/or voluntary contributions from industry. The Australian Government provides matched funding for all HAL’s R&D activities.
Advertising/Editorial The Almond Board of Australia
acknowledges contributions made by private enterprise through placement of advertisements in this publication. Any advertising and/or editorial supplied to this
Ross Skinner & Brendan Sidhu
With both the Australian and Californian Almond Boards visiting India prior to Gulfoods, it provided an opportunity for the Chairs and Executive staff to meet and discuss issues of mutual interest, such as Indian food safety standards, permissible fumigants, import certificates, tariffs and trade agreements. It enabled the ABA to meet for the first time with the ABC Chair, Mike Mason and hold further discussions with Richard Waycott and Julie Adams (President and Vice President) of the Californian Board. Present at the meeting was Slava Zeman, Counsellor Agriculture at the Australian High Commission and Alan Mustard, US Department of Agriculture Minister Counsellor at the US Embassy. It was noted at this meeting that since the discussions held mid 2011 with Mr Gaur, CEO of the Food Safety Standards Authority India, that his commitment to address the delays in processing imported almonds had led to a much improved situation. The marketing situation for the new Australian crop is showing positive signs. A key will be the size of the Californian tree yields following their large crop in 2011. The current bloom and set in California will be major determinants of this. A further factor impacting heavily on returns to Australian producers is the high Australian dollar is been well above parity with its US counterpart. The Australian almond industry has no control over the factors noted above, but endeavours during the year to ensure the best possible quality product is presented on export markets is pleasing. The ABA’s efforts in obtaining emergency and minor use permits for needed chemicals, providing training for improved spray and irrigation application, and providing information for the control of pests and diseases has assisted this. During the past year the domestic consumption of almonds has risen 9%, which is a good result. In the coming months, keep an eye out for the marketing levy funded new season promotions appearing in print media and in stores. Good luck for the remainder of harvest.
The Australian almond industry trade stand was a standout among the thousand or more companies displaying their products occupying three booths. Our stand had representation from all the large Australian marketers, as well as ABA Marketing Program Manager, Joseph Ebbage. The inquiry about Australian almonds was very strong throughout the four day event, with many existing and new customers stopping to discuss the outlook for the current crop. Below: 1. Hon Louise Asher, Joseph Ebbag & Ross Skinner at the Australian Almond stand, Gulfood 2012 2. Australian Almond Update Forum, Dubai 3. The Australian Almond stand, Gulfood 2012
The 2012 harvest is in full swing and reports to date indicate excellent quality with large nuts following good growing conditions during the year. All production areas have reported average yields across the varieties apart from Carmel which is down following strong crop last year. During the recent visit to India and at the Australian update forum at the Gulfoods trade fair in Dubai, the ABA delegation stressed the much better growing conditions experienced in 2011-12 compared to the previous two years. These conditions have resulted in larger nuts with, no staining of the shell on the tree and light kernel colour on product processed to date. The response of the traders to the return of normal quality for Australian product was very positive, although it was noted that only a minor proportion of the crop had been harvested at that time. The advice that Australia was also researching methods to minimise the impact on quality from poor weather for future seasons was also welcomed. Gulfoods is a key promotional event for the Australian almond industry, with many key traders from India and the Middle East attending. This year a large trade delegation from Victoria attended, led by the Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business, and Minister for Tourism and Major Events, The Hon. Louise Asher. The Victorian Government funded a dedicated meeting room at the Dubai World Trade Centre enabling the ABA and other primary industry bodies such as Dairy Australia to conduct forums showcasing their products and industry to those interested. Approximately 50 delegates attended the session to learn about the Australian industry’s productive capacity, market development, export availability and receive an update on the current season’s activity. This attendance was pleasing and was similar in size to the recent Conference held in Delhi by the Almond Board of California.
in April and May in each of the four titles. This will allow us to communicate to both health-conscious and cooking-oriented consumers. Augmenting our presence in the print media will be our advertising www.taste.com.au, Australia’s most popular recipe website. Cricket Promotion Over the summer, we launched our cricket-based sports recovery program. We have used three ways of distributing our cricket ball themed almond tins and brochures. The first mode of distribution was by Ross Skinner at a cricket carnival held in Mildura between Christmas and New Year. The second mode of distribution was via advertising on Facebook for a set of 15 almond snack tins. This approach was directed at cricket coaches who were invited to submit their details on a webpage and were sent the almond snack tins and brochures. The third way was to offer 50 sets of these snack tins to Sports Dietitians to give to their clients. This included sending our tins to the current dietitian to the Australian men’s and women’s cricket team, who is based at cricket’s Centre for Excellence in Brisbane. We have also had a request from the sports dietitian for the AFL’s Hawthorn Football club. Educating Health Professionals The focus of the Educating Health Professional program over the next two months will be on developing our relationship with GPRA: General Practice Registrars Australia. This is the organisation responsible for training young doctors who want to specialise in General Practice. Over the course of 2012, we will be exhibiting at a range of major health conferences and trade shows to personally communicate the taste, health and versatility message of Australian almonds. Joseph Ebbage Marketing Program Manager
Domestic Market On a crop year-to-date basis, sales of Australian almonds are up by 9% over the same period last year. The fall in domestic sales growth over the past three months is the result of the quality and availability issues that impacted our 2011 almond crop. 2012 New Season Crop The key focus for the domestic marketing program for the remainder of the 2012 financial year is the launch of the 2012 new season crop which is set to be a record-breaker at 60,000 tonnes. As our domestic market is vital for our industry, we are investing more heavily than previous years in our 2012 New Season promotion within Australia. We have achieved this by moving the budgeted promotional investment from the 2011 Christmas and 2012 New Year campaigns into our New Season activity. Key to the New Season promotion is the involvement of our Australian Almond Driver Program partners. We have developed a new portfolio of Point of Sale material to clearly communicate the great taste of Australian almonds picked fresh from our orchards. This creative is available in a number of formats including posters (A2, A3 and A4 sizes) and shelf wobblers and bin display stickers. In order to optimise the presence of our New Season promotion in- store, we will be running a merchandising competition. We will be offering ten $500 prizes for the most impactful in-store promotions that utilise our portfolio of point of sale material. To drive the in-store promotions, we are also investing in print and online advertising. Communicating our New Season message directly to our consumers is vital to securing the support of our Almond Driver partners, particularly our retailers. We have selected four magazines in which to invest: Australian Men’s Health, Australian Women’s Health, BBC Good Food and Superfood Ideas. We will feature our New Season advertisement
It’s almond season.
FRESH picked P R O D U C E O F A U S T R A L I A
Australian Almonds www.australianalmonds.com.au
Nuts for Life www.nutsforlife.com.au Follow us on twitter
Nuts for Life 2012-2015 Strategic Investment Plan June 2012 sees the end of the current three year strategic plan and the activities of 2009-2012 will be externally evaluated in 2012. As a result Nuts for Life was required to develop a new three year plan and submit it for HAL funding. The full document has been loaded onto the contributors section of the Nuts for Life website. Executive Summary Nut for Life and nuts has come a long way in eight years. From nuts being ignored and considered unhealthy to being accepted as an important plant food in a healthy balanced diet. The majority understand that a handful of nuts is an acceptable serve however the frequency of consumption needs to increase. One barrier to this increased consumption is the confusion over the fat content of nuts and their role in weight management. This alone gives reason for the Australian Nut Industry to continue to support Nuts for Life to breakdown these myths. Other issues include allergies and the potential for a generation of children not eating nuts due to their experience of nut allergies in school. We also want nuts to own the “heart health” nutrition space and be considered the number one food for improving heart health. Our vision is to “Grow our status as Australia’s authority on nuts and health, and improve the overall health of Australians by educating them about the importance of regular nut consumption.” August 2013 is also the 10 year anniversary of Nuts for Life and a perfect opportunity to launch National Nut Month to consumers and health professionals alongside the US and UK National Nut Day on Oct 22. Nuts for Life will continue to support the food industry and contributors by keeping them up to date with activities, providing nutrient claims workshops and resources they can use to promote the nutrition and health benefits of nuts and get them excited about National Nut Month. We will also attend the Australian Nut Conference in 2013 and AIFST conferences. This investment plan has a tight budget and requires ~$424,000 in funds coming from
contributions, from Industry and matched government funds. Voluntary contributions will have CPI applied each year in order for the program to remain viable. Compulsory external evaluation of the Campaign will occur in 2012/13 as well as health professional and consumer tracking market research in Jan 2012 and in Jan 2014. This 2012-2015 campaign offers exciting opportunities to further promote the health benefits of nuts, highlight the value of nuts for weight management and promoting the importance of a handful or two of nuts every day to boost nut consumption. The Campaign is schedule to commence in July 2012. Public Health Policy – Core foods review and dietary guidelines review update It has been satisfying to know that our submissions were indeed read as statements we made have been included. Thank you to the Australian Tree Nut Industry for continuing to fund Nuts for Life. Your financial investment and commitment over the last 8 years has meant we have had the resources to continually educate food regulators, public health policy makers and health professionals such as dietitians whom all play a role in developing policies such as these. The most heartening elements of the draft Dietary Guidelines (DGs) and associated food (plate) model for us are: 1. They have stopped referring to us as “Meat Alternatives” – just getting the word “Nuts” in the title of the “protein” group is a big change. We are no longer the “forgotten cousins” – “nuts” are now mentioned 62 times in the 290 page dietary guideline report simply because we are no longer being refer to as “meat alternatives”. 2. It is stated that adult nut consumption needs to increase by 350% to reach the 30g serve per day 3. The DGs document also states that “Consumption of nuts (65-110g per day) reduces cholesterol levels” 4. Plus that the “consumption of nuts and seeds may help reduce the risk of heart
disease and is not associated with weight gain if total energy intake is controlled” and further that “the evidence on lack of association with weight gain is a new development.” 5. Tree nuts are featured in the protein group of the plate model. These are only draft documents and there is still work to be done. There is some inconsistency between the all documents which may cause confusion and needs to be addressed particularly with regard to serving size and frequency of eating for nuts and recommendations for young children. There is also a movement in the food industry to have the healthy fats food group reinstated and make healthy fats a part of the plate rather than “on the side” as shown above. We will be monitoring this as it progresses. These policies also mean there is much scope for the promotion of nuts and when the final documents are released in 2012 we can all promote nuts in a big way through each of our channels. Lisa Yates
Program Manager and Dietitian Nuts for Life Ph 02 9460 0111 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Brett Rosenzweig - Industry Development Officer In The Orchard
With harvest now well underway, the following checklist will provide you with some helpful reminders over the coming months:
• Check fruit moisture content. Moisture content of the fruit must be measured before shaking, or before pick-up and stockpiling following rain interruptions. Research has indicated the incidence of mould growth and food safety risks increase dramatically when fruit is stored with kernel moisture of greater than 6%. Refer to Fact Sheet 10. • Soil Salinity and pH. A reminder that now is the time to take soil samples to be tested for salinity and pH. Samples should be taken from approximately 30, 60 and 90 cm or at closer intervals if your soil depth is shallower than 1m. Target known salinity hotspots from previous years or known drainage areas that may have been affected by flooding last season. The same principle applies for drip irrigated orchards, however sample at 20cm from the dripper (in the wetted area of the dripper) and 60cm from the dripper (the edge of the wetted area of the dripper). High salinity levels 60cm from the dripper could lead to uptake of salt by the tree after light rainfall events as the salt is pushed back into the rootzone. pH should also be tested in addition to salinity, particularly in drip irrigated orchards and those orchards with high fertiliser inputs. Refer to Fact Sheet 09. • Post Harvest Nutrition. In order to maximise post harvest fertilizer uptake, the best time for application is mid to late March or after Nonpareil has been harvested. Applications of fertilizer when trees have very little uptake or are nearly dormant (late in autumn), can result in the fertilizer sitting in the soil, not readily being taken up by the tree and prone to being leached past the active rootzone during winter. Refer to the two fact sheets titled “Balancing Nutrient Input and Output – CT Trial Results” and “Timing Nutrient Inputs For Best Effect”. If the soil temperature is below 18oC, consider switching from Urea to Ammonium Nitrate as Urea doesn’t readily break down when soil temperatures are below 18oC. This also applies to UAN or liquid Urea. “Bud building” sprays using Lo-Bi Urea and other micro nutrients (e.g. Boron
indicated that coverage at the top of the tree can be patchy and air quality is more important than nozzle selection. Air quality means the right volume of air is required to displace the existing volume of air in the tree with spray laden air (even at the top of the canopy) at the right speed so as to not cause leaf shingling. Ben and myself are currently reviewing the results gained so far and will then plan for further testing in spring 2012.
and Zinc) can also be applied. Rates for “Bud building” sprays of Lo-Bi Urea are usually 1% or 10kg/1000L. Refer to Fact Sheet 02. • Disease and Pests. This season has been kinder to growers with better spring and summer weather conditions resulting in less incidence of disease. A few growers have observed rust in the upper canopy of the tree. This highlights coverage as being the main factor for controlling rust. To help the control of rust next season, it is crucial to have good defoliation this winter to stop the carryover of spores. Remember, the primary cause for rust carrying over to next season is the rust spores overwintering on any leaves remaining on the tree. Even if the tree is mostly defoliated from rust, weather conditions etc, it is still critical to apply a defoliation spray to remove ALL the leaves. Most commonly used is a 7% Urea defoliation spray but Zinc Sulphate can also be used. The advantage of using Urea is to aid in “bud building” for next year’s crop. In addition to this, a dormant copper spray following defoliation may help fungal disease management in the next growing season. Refer to fact sheet titled “Managing Rust In Almonds”. Bryobia Mite has shown up in orchards in the last two months. While it is too late now for control, an effective winter
Left, Below & Bottom: All About Almonds fact sheets - to download these visit www. australianalmonds.com.au
oil spray during dormancy will aid control next season. If your orchard is affected by Bryobia Mite, this is
another reason for applying post harvest fertilizer sooner rather than later as leaf functionality is slightly reduced. • Canopy Coverage
Spray Trials Update. Further spray testing work was carried out in early January to test some observations made in the original round of testing late last year. This time fine nozzles were tested against the grower’s standard coarse nozzle setup. Both results
Above: Byrobia or Brown Mite (Bryobia Rubrioculus) adult
Bienvenido a Australia! Welcome to Australia Señor Brett Rosenzweig - Industry Development Officer
Why visit Australia? There were three main reasons the group chose to conduct a study tour of our industry: our plant breeding program; our agronomic practices; and a general comparison of the two industries. Breeding The Australian almond breeding program has been sourcing genetic material from countries such as Spain and France in an effort to improve the genetic diversity and desirable characteristics of new selections. Naturally, Paco and Xavier were keen to review our breeding program and offer advice where possible. The group toured the Waite Campus facilities where Michelle Wirthensohn undertakes the propagation of primary selections, Dareton where the primary evaluation site is located, and Lacton where the secondary evaluation site is located. In addition, a visit was made to Omega Orchards where nine Spanish hard shell cultivars are planted for evaluation, including six of Paco’s commercial releases. The cooperation of IRTA in the Australian breeding program has been invaluable, providing both a source of genetic material and peer support. increased its benchmark yield from 2.5T/Ha to 3.2T/Ha over the last decade, primarily due to the successful management of water and fertiliser applications gained from the CT Trial. The group showed great interest in these learnings, ranging from irrigation and fertiliser scheduling, plant uptake, system monitoring and sustainability. A comparison of orchard design also generated lots of discussion, debating the merits of pruning, self fertility, tree densities and other management decisions. In Spain there is a defined pruning regime to establish an orchard and to maintain an open tree and allow light into the centre of the tree. This is in contrast to Australia where only a small amount of tree structuring is done in the early establishment years of an orchard and the practice of no pruning or hedging is more common. The pruning discussion Agronomic practices The Australian almond industry has
On Australia Day, the Almond Board of Australia (ABA) welcomed 10 visitors from the Spanish almond industry for a study tour of our industry. The trip was organised by Xavier Miarnau who is responsible for technology transfer and breeding evaluation with the Institute for Research & Technology, Food & Agriculture (IRTA) which is a part of the local Department of Agriculture. Xavier had previously toured Australia in
IRTA has signed a three year cooperation agreement with Aboreto and Crisol with the aim of improving almond production in Spain. IRTA will be involved in technology transfer, extension, and training the agronomists and growers. The agreement includes study tours to the main almond producing countries (USA and Australia) to observe and evaluate alternative plant material, growing practices, and technology use. General Industry Comparisons The Australian and Spanish almond industries are quite different in that the Australian industry has largely adopted Californian practices (machinery, varieties etc) whereas Spain has evolved independently. Their industry is largely hard shell varieties and harvested in a shake and catch system, using either umbrella skirt shakers or over the row harvesters. Almonds harvested in this manner are not dried on the ground but rather on the tree or in silo storages. The almonds are hulled in the field and are only removed from the silo storages to be cracked and processed. This has some advantages from a food safety view point in that the almond never touches the ground and is less likely to suffer from pathogens. This is an area Australia might be able to learn from Spain. Almonds in Spain Spain has the world’s largest area of almonds but in contrast, is the third largest producer of almonds (35,000 tonnes) behind California (740,000 tonnes) and Australia (38,000 tonnes). Spain was the second largest producer until Australia surpassed their production in the last twelve months. The Spanish almond industry is mostly characterised by hard shelled varieties, nil or supplementary irrigation and low production levels.
2009 and hosted various members of the Australian almond industry on several study tours in Spain. The ABA has a long working relationship with IRTA, in particular Francisco (Paco) Vargas. Paco is their Research Director for plant breeding and has gratefully provided genetic material for use in the Australian almond breeding program conducted by Dr Michelle Wirthensohn at the University of Adelaide. IRTA / Aboreto / Crisol de Frutos Secos In addition to Paco and Xavier, eight staff from two of Spain’s largest packers and marketers, Arboreto SAT and Crisol de Frutos Secos SAT, also attended. Arboreto and Crisol are companies that represent approximately 26,000 growers growing approximately 129,000Ha of almonds and 6,000Ha of pistachio, hazelnuts and carobs. They specialise primarily in the marketing but also offer a comprehensive technical service. This includes: • Technical advice on design, implementation and management of plantations • Applications for grants and subsidies • Administrative procedures relating to farming • Analytical agribusiness • Agricultural engineering services • Agricultural insurance To achieve these outcomes they have: • A network of processing factories • A network of technical and administrative offices with agronomists, agricultural technicians and technical specialists
• Almond seedling nurseries • A network of warehouses and distributors
• A laboratory for the analysis of soil and plant material which specialises in studies of plant fertility and fertilisation
Continued page 11
Ben Brown - Industry Liaison Manager R&D Roundup
Alternative Use of Almond Hulls and Shells – One person’s trash is another person’s treasure?
Background The Australian almond industry has long been aware of the looming significant increase in kernel production, with greater than 80,000 tonnes expected by 2015. Whilst kernel production has received a lot of attention, the so called waste (i.e. hulls and shells) has received little fanfare, even though it accounts for 70% of the harvested weight meaning over 280,000 tonnes of hull and shell will be produced in 2015. In Australia, the hull and shell is sold between $0 to $35/tonne to freight companies who then transport and on sell the product to dairies and feedlots. The final price paid by the animal handlers is a lot more than that received by the almond industry; however, the majority of the money covers the freight. The scope to further increase the quantity sold or value obtained in the Australian market is limited. Customers are located too far from the almond industry, the hull and shell in its natural form has a low bulk density making freight expensive, and the almond hull and shell makes up only 5-10% of the animal’s diet with grain the main competitor. These challenges were clearly evident during the 2011 harvest with hullers and shellers having difficulty clearing their stockpiles in readiness for the 2012 harvest. In comparison, the hull and shell is quite valuable in California as the animal handlers are commonly direct neighbours and as such, the freight is minimal. The hull and shell is a valuable commodity and attracts prices greater than US$130/US ton with the majority of this paid to the huller and
subsidise hulling and shelling costs.
sheller. For many Californian almond growers there is no charge for hulling and shelling as this is covered from the sale of the waste. Almond hulling and shelling costs in Australia are estimated at approximately $0.30/kg and in a study conducted by Pocock (2007) cracking was calculated as 15% of an almond orchard’s costs or nearly $1,000/ha (assuming a 3.2 t/ha yield). Cracking was ranked as the second most expensive cost, behind unallocated labour; and more expensive than fertiliser, irrigation, harvest and bee hive rental. Since 2007 there have been considerable fluctuations and increases in water and fertiliser costs, but it is estimated the cracking is still one of the most expensive operations. Not only is hulling and shelling expensive, but growing the hull and shell is also expensive. For example, approximately 60% of the annual fertiliser applications (or approximately 100 kg/ha and 200 kg/ ha of nitrogen and potassium applications, respectively) ends up in the hull and shell. This equates to over $20,000,000 of nitrogen and potassium fertilisers assuming UAN and potassium sulphate would need to be applied to replace (i.e. fertilisation), one for one, just these two elements (Table 1). The hull and shell also contains other nutrients such as phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, zinc etc. The associated chemical and physical properties of hull and shell provide a great opportunity for alternative uses such as bioenergy, biochar, compost etc that could
Bioenergy Bioenergy is defined 1 as renewable energy made available from materials derived from biological sources or biomass (e.g. almond hulls, shells and prunings). In 2009, the Australian government implemented the Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme, which is designed to deliver on the Government’s commitment to ensure 20% of Australia’s electricity supply (equivalent to Australia’s current household use) will come from renewable sources by 2020. Bioenergy is the subject of considerable interest and activity worldwide, but is also a very complex topic. I would like to highlight just a few exciting areas of relevance to the almond industry. The waste could undergo pyrolysis or gasification (without combustion) to create a synthetic gas. This gas can then be burned directly in a gas engine/turbine or used to produce methanol or converted into a synthetic fuel. This energy source could then be used to power hulling and shelling facilities, aeration/dehydration facilities etc with the remaining energy sold to the “grid”. Portable pyrolysis units are in development overseas. It is estimated by 2015, the quantity of almond hull and shell produced by the entire industry could have the energy potential to deliver approximately 1,000,000GJ of electricity per annum, or the equivalent of potentially $8,000,000 per year of carbon off-sets at $23 per tonne or the carbon equivalent of 25,000 houses or 81,000 cars. Biochar In the process of pyrolysis, a product called biochar is produced as a “waste” stream. This so called waste is a material that could sequest carbon (to be confirmed) and be used to increase orchard soil fertility. Another version of pyrolysis also has the ability to produce activated carbon, a sought after product in water filtration.
2017 $24,560,732 Table 1: Estimated almond kernel, hull and shell production and the value of nitrogen and potassium in the hull and shell only, 2011-2016 Australian harvests 86,257 287,523
R&D Roundup continued...
Bienvenido a Australia! cont
CT TRIAL FINAL REPORT Did you get your copy? recover value to meet the hulling and shelling costs and add approximately $1,000/ha to the bottom line of growing almonds. HAL Project Number : AL07005 Report Date: June 2011 If you didn’t, please contact Debbie at the ABA Office Novel alternative uses Almond hull and shells could also be used as ingredients in other novel alternative uses; for example, building products (rice husks are used in the production of particle board), ingredients in human health supplements, and many more. Almond R&D This topic is a new R&D initiative and a project is being commissioned to firstly scope the feasibility of various alternatives, and secondly whether any knowledge gaps exist for new R&D specific to almond biowaste. Ultimately, the aim will be to
to establish an orchard and to maintain an open tree and allow light into the centre of the tree. This is in contrast to Australia where only a small amount of tree structuring is done in the early establishment years of an orchard and the practice of no pruning or hedging is more common. The pruning discussion in the group kept focusing on whether minimal pruning or no pruning would have a detrimental effect on the amount and location of viable fruiting wood. Orchard layout was also keenly discussed with the density of trees /Ha greater here in Australia than in Spain. Some dry grown almond regions within Spain have recently installed piped irrigation trusts and will benefit from the Australian tour; however it is unlikely our production methods will be widely adopted in their entirety, primarily due to limited availability of irrigation water. Almond Processing While the group were here too early to observe peak harvest and consequently processing, tours were still undertaken in several hulling, shelling and packing facilities. The touring group noted that while they have similar facilities in Spain, there were subtle differences in the range of technology used and equipment layout. The group found each of the tours very interesting and a number of the hosts indicated it was a pleasant experience meeting people who had a genuine interest and desire to learn and share industry experiences. The Australian Experience The group were genuinely amazed by the expanse of the countryside and the distances required when travelling
between almond regions, and even the major regional towns. They enjoyed the hospitality provided by the ABA and the industry stakeholders they visited. Some of the non almond highlights of the tour were getting close to native wildlife in Cleland Wildlife Park and the sight of kangaroos and emus in the native habitat along the roadsides, even posing for photos beside a kangaroo warning road sign! The group also experienced some traditional river experiences like taking a ‘tinnie’ trip down one of the backwaters near Renmark, enjoying a yabby or two with a cold beer and photographing the possums on the Renmark riverfront. The Australian work schedule was a contrast to the usual Spanish working day. Australians definitely start and finish the day earlier than our Spanish guests, as illustrated on their faces when I proposed a 7.30am breakfast meeting with one of the growers. There was a moment of disbelief that a coffee shop would be open that early to serve breakfast but all was quickly forgotten once the espressos were served! A lot of valuable information was gained and new contacts were made with the study trip. While the Spanish tour group had the most to learn from our industry, they also shared information about their industry that will also be useful. All members of the group expressed a strong desire to return the hospitality they received to members of the Australian almond industry, so if you find yourself with some spare time in Spain and would like a personalised tour of their industry, they will be more than happy to oblige.
lmond & Blueberry Pancakes
Ingredients (serves 4) 2 cups self-raising flour, sifted 1/4 cup almond meal (ground almonds) 2 tablespoons caster sugar 1 1/2 cups milk 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 150g fresh or frozen blueberries 40g butter, softened double cream and icing sugar mixture, to serve Method Combine flour, almond meal and caster sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Add milk, egg and vanilla. Using a large metal spoon, stir until just combined. Gently fold half the blueberries through the batter. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons of butter to pan and swirl to coat base. Pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter into pan and swirl to form a 10cm round. Cook pancake for 2 minutes or until small bubbles begin to appear on the surface. Turn over and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining mixture, adding more butter to pan as necessary. Place pancakes on each serving plate. Top with a dollop of double cream. Sprinkle over remaining blueberries. Dust with icing sugar and serve.
Recipe from www.taste.com.au
Coming SOON the 2011 Australian Almond Statistics Report.....
The source of planting data summarised in this report is an Almond Planting Survey, distributed to all known Australian almond growers. More than 170 surveys were distributed in September 2011. Surveys contained pre-printed data previously reported of almond plantings by variety, irrigation type, acreage, age, tree spacing and location. Survey participants are requested to update information with any new plantings, removals and corrections. New growers were also issued with blank surveys for completion. Greater than 95% survey response was received in 2010 and again in 2011. It is currently estimated that the remaining 5% collectively represents approximately 300 hectares (740 acres) of almond plantings, being approximately 1% of total plantings. The report also contains current and future projections of Australian production, domestic consumption and world production data. Due out March 2012!