Data coup as almond industry goes spatial

News Oct. 27, 2023

For the first time spatial mapping has been used to identify every almond orchard in Australia.

The new planting data features in the Almond Board of Australia’s annual Almond Insights 2022-23 e-publication.

The latest edition contains new information and features and will be updated throughout the season and become a living resource for a wide range of industry stakeholders.

The mapping work was carried out by globally-recognised ag-specialists LandIQ from California.

“This is the first time annual grower planting survey results have been ground-truthed by spatial mapping,” Almond Board of Australia chief executive Tim Jackson explains.

“We now know the age profile of every orchard and where they are located.”

The data also confirms the rate of plantings has continued to decline and that there is increased commitment to self-fertile varieties due to ongoing concerns around bee availability and pollination costs.

Almost a quarter of Australia’s almond plantings are now in the Riverina, making it the second largest production region, behind the Sunraysia, the largest, with 34,898 hectares.

Total industry plantings have expanded to 62,412 hectares, but the rate of new plantings has slowed in recent years.

Only 1605ha were planted in 2022, while the figure was only slightly higher at 1695 in 2021.

Tim says the data also shows the variety being planted is also changing.

He says nonpareil now accounts for only 48 per cent of Australia’s almond plantings, with 27,391ha planted in the past decade.

“Varieties such as Carmel, and to a lesser extent, Monterey and Price, are gaining in popularity,” Mr Jackson says.

“The Insights data also contained an update on industry sales data, with Australian almonds being exported to more than 50 countries,” he says.

“China is established as a key market, buying 50,848 tonnes in 2022-23, which was 44 per cent higher than the previous year.

“Free trade agreements negotiated by the Federal Government have also played significant role in export gains and the growth of sales in China is testament to the value of zero tariff agreements.”

Spain purchased 8642 tonnes, which was a 63 per cent increase on the 2021-2020 year.

Turkiye’s appetite for Australian almonds grew by 282 per cent to 6052 tonnes.

“Value adding industries in Spain and Turkiye took advantage of the increased availability of manufacturing grade inventory,” he says.

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