Macadamia regional variety trials series 4 (MC17006)
What’s it all about?
This investment is continuing to evaluate the performance of new and emerging macadamia varieties, and will feed information on these varieties through to industry.
The information it generates will ultimately help guide growers in making decisions about new varieties for orchard expansion, development and possible replanting in key growing regions. The varieties it helps commercialise will have benefits including higher and more consistent production of high-quality kernel, resulting in a more profitable and prosperous industry in Australia, based on internationally competitive exports
This trial work carries on from earlier iterations of the regional variety trial series, with the previous project Macadamia regional variety trials – series 3, phase 2 (MC11001) identifying four new varieties for commercial release.
To learn more about the macadamia varieties produced by this investment, including information on how to access them, head to the Macadamia Innovation website.
Since the last update, the first of three comprehensive trials was planted in September 2020 at Macadamias Australia’s Farnsfield site, southwest of Bundaberg. Of the intended 162 trees, 93 were planted in a randomised block design on a newly developed orchard site. Remaining tree spaces are to be planted in January/February 2021 when trees become available from the nursery.
At Mac Q nursery in Bundaberg, 1,969 H2 rootstocks were successfully grafted between June and October 2020 for grower supplementary trials. These will be dispatched in January 2021, with half destined for Rockhampton, Bundaberg and Maryborough grower sites, and the remaining trees going to Gympie and Northern Rivers, NSW. A final round of cincturing and propagation will be completed in early 2021.
The Decortes grower RVT harvest was delayed due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. It was harvested four times between May and July 2020, with the final visit combining a ground pick-up and tree strip. Yield data from 2019 and 2020 have now been collated and are being statistically analysed.
Decisions about selections to progress to commercialisation will be made by the Macadamia Industry Variety Improvement Committee in February 2021.
Read more about 2020 Regional variety trials – testing and performance of new varieties since 1983 in the Australia Macadamia Society Bulletin, Summer 2020 edition, pp41-43.
Grower supplementary trial sites have been arranged for Rockhampton, Maryborough, Bundaberg, and two sites in the Northern Rivers of NSW. Plantings are on track for 2020 and 2021.
In Bundaberg, a comprehensive test site has been identified and is in the process of being established on previous sugar cane land. Most new plantings in NSW and QLD are on previous sugar cane land, so the site will provide information that is relevant to current industry expansion. Grafted nursery trees have been collected in readiness for comprehensive site plantings in the very near future.
A second comprehensive site is to be planted in an abnormal vertical growth affected site later in the year. Forty dwarf rootstocks are to be incorporated into this site as guard rows, to test compatibility, tree performance, and susceptibility to abnormal vertical growth.
This project is tasked with testing 23 new superior clones from seedling populations produced by the National Macadamia Breeding Project.
Locations for two comprehensive testing sites have been confirmed at Bundaberg and six supplementary grower blocks from the Northern Rivers region of NSW to Rockhampton in central Queensland.
At the comprehensive sites, a full range of data will be collected, with the supplementary trials to be a complementary data collection resource and useful tool for assessing localised performance and providing budwood supply for commercialised cultivars.
Forty dwarf rootstocks will be planted at a Bundaberg site to test compatibility, tree performance and susceptibility to abnormal vertical growth.
In recent months, the project completed harvest of the 2019 Regional Variety Trials, with samples sent for analysis and nursery propagation started using two groups of cultivars. A further round of cincturing to be completed in March for May grafting.
This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Macadamia Fund