Harvey’s Yambellup Estate expecting high yield first crop from new seedless mandarin varietal
Harvey-based citrus grower Richard Eckersley is excited to present a new mandarin varietal to the market in what is already set to be a bumper citrus season across WA.
The Yambellup Estate producer will this week begin harvesting his first commercial crop of the new seedless Tangold.
The high-sugar, easy-peel, seedless varietal was produced through the University of California breeding program and Mr Eckersley’s first crop will hit supermarket shelves across WA this week.
Near-perfect growing conditions have helped WA producers grow record crops for all citrus varieties this season, the hot summer helping the sugars in the fruits develop.
Yambellup Estate is anticipating higher than usual yields in its three other varieties of mandarin, as well as its oranges, lemons and avocados, but Mr Eckersley, pictured, is especially excited to show his new product to the market.
“Being able to present a new product is always exciting,” he said.
“Consumers are tending towards sweet, seedless, easy-peel fruit like this varietal. We’re excited to be able to present it to the market.”
Mr Eckersley said he was anticipating about a 100-tonne yield from the young trees.
“It will only be a small volume this year, but in the next few years as the tress mature, we will see the volume ramp up,” he said.
He said the addition of the new varietal would help his business have a smoother ride over the market highs and lows.
“Crops are being picked very well across all our commodities, but erratic market variations are proving a challenge,” he said.
“Lockdowns happening in other States means demand for East Coast products has been lower some weeks.
“East coast producers will try to sell their products in the west coast markets when this happens, so some weeks the market can be flooded.”
He said the erratic market had been changing as rapidly as week-to-week.
“Getting steady demand has been quite challenging in this environment,” he said.
“Having a spread of varieties helps spread the risk profile and evens out the highs and lows. “But for the consumer, local is always better and fresher.”
Citrus Australia chief executive Nathan Hancock said one mandarin, orange or lemon contained the entire recommended daily intake of Vitamin C and he encouraged people to keep buying locally-grown fruit.
“When you buy Aussie citrus you support our Aussie growers, who in turn support our rural towns across the country — from Carnarvon and Kununurra in the north, down to Moora, north of Perth, and Harvey and Manjimup in the south,” Mr Hancock said.
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