The Macadamia Journey

Apr 18, 2024 | New, The Macadamia Journey

The annual cycle of the macadamia nut, from its initial accumulation beneath the summer sun to the intricate process of harvest and beyond, is a tale of precision, care, and the pursuit of freshness. This journey, marked by a blend of tradition and technological innovation, ensures that each nut reaches its destination in peak condition, embodying the essence of quality that the Australian macadamia industry is renowned for.

Macadamia in the summer

Summer Accumulation: A Prelude to Harvest

As summer wanes, macadamia trees, thriving in the warm Australian climate, begin the process of nut accumulation. This period is critical, as it sets the stage for the harvest. The nutlets, encased in their hard shells and nestled within the green husks, start to mature, drawing nutrients from the sun-drenched soil. This natural preparation phase is vital for the development of the nut’s rich flavour and nutritional profile.

When ready grown nuts fall to the ground and are ready for harvest.

Macadamias in March

March Onwards: The Harvest Begins

With the arrival of March, the macadamia orchards become hives of activity. This is when the actual harvesting process commences. The timing is crucial; it ensures the nuts are harvested at their peak maturity, optimising their quality and taste. The harvest is conducted with precision, utilising state-of-the-art machinery designed to collect the nuts efficiently while minimising damage to the trees and the orchard floor.

 

As the harvest season unfolds, multiple rounds of harvesting will take place, becoming increasingly efficient with the diminishing rainfall and shorter daylight hours. This natural progression aids in the management of grass, streamlining operations as we approach the season’s climax towards Augast.

Featured in the upcoming video is our state-of-the-art finger wheel harvester at work, showcasing its ability to dehusk macadamias in real time as it traverses the orchard and emptying the hopper into a Bundy Skip Bin.

Innovations in Harvesting: On-the-Go Dehusking

In many cases, the harvesting machinery is equipped with dehusking capabilities, allowing for the immediate removal of the green outer husk as the nuts are collected. This on-the-go dehusking process is advantageous for several reasons. It enhances the nuts’ freshness, reduces the potential for mold development during storage, and streamlines the post-harvest process. However, not all nuts are dehusked in the field; some are transported to the sort facility in their husks, depending on the farm’s practices and equipment.

How Macadamia Pricing Works

Sort Facility: The Next Phase of Preparation

Whether dehusked on the harvester or at the sorting facility, the next step in the macadamia’s journey is sorting. This crucial phase involves the removal of any remaining husk material, foreign objects, and substandard nuts. The sort facility is where the macadamias are prepared for their next destination, ensuring that only the best quality nuts proceed further. This meticulous process underscores the industry’s commitment to delivering premium products to the market.

Upon arrival at processing facilities, the dehusked macadamias, still encased in their shells, undergo a meticulous evaluation process. Each batch is precisely weighed and subjected to a thorough grading procedure, ensuring that only nuts meeting the highest standards progress further in the processing journey.

Nuts with moisture content up to ten percent meet the standard criteria. Should the moisture exceed this threshold, the nuts’ weight is adjustments are made to maintain equitable compensation for all contributing growers.

Macadamia Samples

Beyond the Sort Facility: A Journey Continues

While this article doesn’t delve into the cracking process, it’s important to note that post-sorting, the macadamias embark on their next journey. For our macadamias, the path doesn’t end at the sort facility; instead, they move on to specialised facilities for cracking, a phase where the hard shells are removed to reveal the creamy, rich kernels inside. This step, critical to making macadamias ready for consumption or further processing, is where we’ll pause our current tale, leaving the nuts on the brink of revealing their inner treasures.

The journey of a macadamia nut, from the warm embrace of summer to the meticulous processes of harvest, dehusking, and sorting, is a testament to the Australian macadamia industry’s dedication to excellence. It is a journey marked by the rhythms of nature, the precision of technology, and the unwavering commitment of growers and processors to deliver a product that is truly unmatched in quality.

Planting Bee Friendly Trees

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Macadamia Industry Origins

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Situated near Maryborough in Queensland, the Bauple region stands as a testament to the enduring legacy and central significance of the macadamia industry in Australia. This area, renowned as one of the macadamia nut tree's original homes, carries a profound...

How Macadamia Pricing Works

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In the intricate world of macadamia farming, understanding the nuances of industry terminology is crucial for growers, especially when it comes to the sale and valuation of their produce. Two key concepts in this realm are "NIS" (Nut In Shell) and "kernel," along with...

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At MFM, the integration efficient pollination practices is paramount, particularly through the innovative use of both managed bee hives and native bees. Dr. Chris Cannizzaro, a leading Horticulturist with the organisation, sheds light on the strategic implementation...

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Hort360: Environmental Impact Management

MFM is proud to share our ongoing journey with Hort360, a leading best management practice framework for the horticulture industry, developed by Growcom. Our commitment to Hort360 underscores our dedication to sustainable farming practices and highlights our efforts...

Planting Bee Friendly Trees

At Macadamia Farm Management (MFM), we are committed to implementing sustainable practices that not only enhance the health and productivity of our orchards but also provide significant returns for our clients. Our latest initiative, led by our horticulturist Chris...

Freshcare

MFM utilises Freshcare, Australia's leading on-farm program for fresh produce. Freshcare addresses the unique needs of growers, streamlining compliance with both domestic and international market requirements. Launched in 2000, Freshcare has seen thousands of...

Sowing a Legacy

Right here in Queensland, we're rolling up our sleeves for something big. It's our bold step into turning 1,800 hectares of single-crop land into a flourishing macadamia haven. This isn't just about nuts. It's our move to push farming forward, making it better for the...

Macadamia Industry Origins

Situated near Maryborough in Queensland, the Bauple region stands as a testament to the enduring legacy and central significance of the macadamia industry in Australia. This area, renowned as one of the macadamia nut tree's original homes, carries a profound...

How Macadamia Pricing Works

In the intricate world of macadamia farming, understanding the nuances of industry terminology is crucial for growers, especially when it comes to the sale and valuation of their produce. Two key concepts in this realm are "NIS" (Nut In Shell) and "kernel," along with...

Bee Friendly Farming

At MFM, the integration efficient pollination practices is paramount, particularly through the innovative use of both managed bee hives and native bees. Dr. Chris Cannizzaro, a leading Horticulturist with the organisation, sheds light on the strategic implementation...

Hort360: Environmental Impact Management

MFM is proud to share our ongoing journey with Hort360, a leading best management practice framework for the horticulture industry, developed by Growcom. Our commitment to Hort360 underscores our dedication to sustainable farming practices and highlights our efforts...