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Completed project

Improving farm productivity and competitiveness in the Australian macadamia industry (MC09001)

Key research provider: The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Publication date: Thursday, February 10, 2011

What was it all about?

Variation in on-farm productivity is a significant issue for the Australian macadamia industry, with the top 25 per cent of farms typically achieving five times the production per hectare than the bottom 25 per cent.

This project, which ran from 2009 to 2014, built on previous work to improve productivity by establishing a national industry on-farm benchmarking service.

The team showcased the management practices of highly productive farms, targeting growers and farm managers, and also consulted with processors, consultants and researchers.

Three strategies were employed…

  • On-farm benchmarking. This used data collected from growers and processors over six production seasons (2009-2014) including analyses of yield, quality and planting data. All participating farms received a yearly personalised benchmark report that ranked their performance against averages of similar farms based on locality, region, tree age, farm size, management style and irrigation status. More than 1500 reports were delivered.

  • Productivity groups. A network of seven productivity groups, between Bundaberg in Queensland and Nambucca in New South Wales, facilitated sharing of information between growers. A total of 40 productivity group meetings and farm walks were held during the project, providing opportunities for growers to compare management practices, costs, yield and quality, and to hear from and speak with researchers.

  • Financial information and forecasting tools. A financial forecasting software tool called the Financial Planner for Macadamia was developed for use by growers, processors and consultants to inform decision-making relating to on-farm practice change and investment. Financial forecasts were developed for a wide range of practice change scenarios, including canopy management, tree replacement and changes to financial arrangements.
Related levy funds


This project was a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Macadamia Fund

Funding statement:
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation

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