Home' Grower : May 2011 Contents The South Australian Grower -- May 2011
after long drought
By ERIC CUMMINS
THE Riverland's citrus crops -- especial-
ly navel oranges -- are on the rebound,
which will certainly fuel flow-on bene-
"This is good news for growers, packing
sheds and the whole value chain," chairman
of the SA Citrus Industry Development
Board Peter Walker said.
"SA citrus is the best in the world and a
return to normal supply conditions enables
us to ensure our brand stays strong in
domestic and export markets."
Mr Walker said the industry regarded the
promising navel orange crop more as a
return to normal conditions, with its antici-
pated dramatic improvement in 2011 ensur-
ing reasonable supplies to all markets and
improving employment in the region.
Navels were estimated to reach 80,000
tonnes in 2011, up from 55,000t in 2010,
comprising 60,000t of
20,000t in summer.
"We estimate close to
average sizes for most
varieties in 2011, a
return to conditions,
such as those in 2009
when the navel crop was
about 82,000t," Mr.
"The board's estimates
committee also anticipates one of the
biggest mandarin crops in recent years with
2011 expected to produce 25,000t, up
from 19,000t in 2010.
"Younger trees are coming into produc-
tion, reflecting a move away from less desir-
able varieties among growers and increasing
consumer demand for mandarins."
Mr Walker said the 2011-12 valencia crop
was also expected to improve substantially
this year from 24,000t in the past season to
about 50,000t, subject to confirmation at
the beginning of the valencia season.
Tangelos were estimated at 6000t in 2011,
up from 3800t, grapefruit 2000t, up from
1700t, and lemons 6500t, up from 3300t.
In the 2011-12 season, the Riverland is
expected to be the second largest producer
of a variety of citrus, har vesting an estimat-
Only the Riverina, in New South Wales, is
higher at 205,000t, but only for navel and
The improved outlook for 2011 and
beyond is put down to recovery from years
of drought and extreme weather events.
In of the top 10 per cent of an estimated
3000 citrus producers in the Riverland,
Ingerson Citrus at Bookpurnong, near
Berri, has succeeded as a family business for
The third generation managing director
David Ingerson said the company produced
oranges, grapefruit, lemons, mandarins and
limes, with navel oranges their biggest vari-
ety, followed by mandarins, red grapefruit,
valencias, lemons and limes.
"We produce about 6500t of citrus annu-
ally from our relatively young orchards as
we go to new plantings, and also buy prop-
erties that are young and developing,"
"Our production is
growing and will contin-
ue to increase, and I am
thinking this will be a
"We pack and market
our own produce so we
have merchants and
retailers who consistently
buy our citrus, backed by
a long history and repu-
tation, which is incredibly valuable to our
David said his wife Judy, son Michael and
daughter Elizabeth were all involved in the
business which has an export program from
the Riverland to Canada, New Zealand and
Asia. Thye also had contracts with National
Foods, a commercial arrangement started
by his grandfather in 1931.
"We have a couple of very good things
going for us, a superb production area and,
because the region doesn't have fruit fly, we
have access to various parts of the world
without difficulty," David said.
"We have a lot of strengths and one of
them is being slightly out of step with
Queensland, New South Wales and Western
Australia, allowing us to import and devel-
op new varieties of citrus, so our growing
seasons are longer," David said.
The family's four orchards, totalling 180
hectares, is spread across the Riverland.
The company exported about 25pc of its
produce with about 15pc going into
Details: South Australian Citrus Industry
Development Board 08 8162 5183
David Ingerson (pictured), Bookpurnong, has been in the citrus industry a long time and his
philosophy is that, despite 10 years of drought, water allocations and difficulties for the trees,
growers must try to profit from the good years. "The industry is very competitive and we face
the same sorts of pressures as other growers in having limited buyers but plenty of
suppliers," David a third generation grower, said.
SA produce strong in domestic, export
Industry recovering from drought
Harvest estimates up for 2011-12
AT A GLANCE
We pack and market our own
produce so we have merchants
and retailers who consistently
buy our citrus.
-- David Ingerson
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