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Cultivation of Macadamias

By Pinoy Farmer | August 6, 2008
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Macadamias can be produced successfully in areas where avocados, papayas, mangoes and bananas do well.
The trees flower during spring from August to September. The further development of the fruit lasts 31 weeks.

Select high-quality nursery trees by inspecting the:

Plant Container and Roots

The size of the container is very important. If the container is too small, the tree becomes pot-bound and the taproot might be distorted. The tree may appear healthy in the nursery, but has little chance of reaching its full potential in the orchard. The weakened root system cannot provide the growing tree with sufficient water and nutrients.

Climatic and Soil Requirements

Soil

Most soil types are suitable for the production of macadamias, provided they are well drained and have no restrictive layers in the top 1 m of the soil. Poorly-drained clay soils are not suitable.

Temperature

The ideal temperature for macadamias is between 16 and 25 °C. Although the trees can survive when temperatures drop below 3 °C, they should not be regarded as frost resistant.

Height above sea level

Height above sea level influences nut quality and production. Production declines dramatically above 600 m. Above 640 m growth is slower and trees take longer to produce.
Cultivars suitable in areas between 600 and 640 m above sea level are Mauka, Kau and Keaau.
Cultivars recommended nearer to the coast, 90 to 300 m above sea level, are Purvis, Makai and Keaau.

Cultivars

The cultivars recommended are: Keaau, Kakea, Kau, Purvis, Pahala, Mauka and Makai. They are regarded as superior to Nelmak 1 and Nelmak 2 for commercial processing and marketing. Their oil content is usually higher than 73 % and the sugar content is low enough to ensure an even, cream colour after the nuts have been baked. Under ideal circumstances the crack-out percentage will be higher than 40 %.

Soil Preparation

Planting Distances

As soon as the competition for light becomes too great, production will decrease.
To allow for tractors to move between the trees, the hedgerow planting system is used.

With this system:

Intercropping

Other crops are sometimes cultivated between young macadamia trees. There are 3 main aspects to be considered before planting an intercrop.

Leaf Analysis

Method of Sampling

Fertilisation

Do not fertilise young, transplanted trees too soon. They must first become well established and start growing vigorously before any applications are made, preferably after at least 1 year.
Never apply fertilisers against the stem of young trees.
Fertiliser must be broadcast evenly from about 0,2 m from the stem to about 0,5 m outside the drip area of the tree.
Macadamia trees are very sensitive to root damage, therefore each fertiliser application must be followed by a light, controlled irrigation.
Fertilisers must not be worked into the soil.
When the trees are established and start growing, fertiliser must be applied regularly according to the table.

Quantity of fertiliser according to age (kg/tree/year)

Tree age (years)  LAN 28 %  Superphosphate  Potassium chloride

1

2

3-5

6-8

9-11

12-14

15+

0,2

0,4

0,6

1,0

1,5

2,0

3,75

0,2

0,2

0,3

0,5

0,75

1,0

1,35

0,1

0,3

0,5

0,5

0,75

1,0

1,25

Zinc and Boron Sprays

Because most soils are naturally low in zinc, or the zinc is not available, this element must be applied every year. The following concentrations are recommended:

Many macadamia orchards are also low in boron and it is desirable to spray the trees every 2 years with 100 g borax or 75 g Solubor/100 l water right from the start.

Irrigation

Water stress often limits tree growth, as well as the set, growth and quality of macadamia nuts. It is important to know how much water to apply and when to apply it if it does not rain.

Water Requirements

The approximate water requirements for macadamia trees(mm/month)

Tree age

Years

Month

 Aug. Sept. Oct.  Nov. Dec.  Jan.  Feb.  March  Apr.  May Jun.Jul
5162024272929242114999
10465769778181675938262626

Diseases and Pests

Phytophthora root rot

This disease usually occurs as a result of mechanical damage causing injury. These areas usually become infected. Trees suffering some kind of stress such as drought conditions may also get the disease.

Nut borer

Nut borer is the common name for the larvae of 4 types of moths that can either burrow into the green husks of macadamia nuts or feed on the kernels. The damage can easily be recognised, but the moths are small and inconspicuous and seldom seen in an orchard.

Stinkbugs

Stinkbugs are the most important pest on macadamias in South Africa. Damage is caused by a stinkbug complex comprising at least 20 different types. The most important types are: two-spotted stinkbug, green vegetable stinkbug, coconut stinkbug, small green stinkbug, spotted stinkbug, yellow-edged stinkbug and yellow-spotted stinkbug.
Stinkbugs can cause crop losses of up to 80 %.

Damage

Most stinkbugs have 4 generations per year and each generation causes a different type of damage to the nuts.

Control

Stinkbugs can be controlled chemically.
The shaking method is used to monitor the number of stinkbugs, especially the winter and spring generations when morning temperatures are low.

There are also other signs which may indicate the presence of stinkbugs:

Recommended Guidelines

Harvesting, Storage and Processing

Removal of Husks

The green husks around the nuts must be removed as soon as possible after harvesting.

Drying

Storage

Shelling

Packaging

The fried or roasted nuts are packed in airtight bottles, tins or plastic containers for consignment and marketing.

source : http://www.nda.agric.za

Topics: Crops & Vegetables | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Cultivation of Macadamias”

  1. Agriculture.ph Blog » Prospects of Growing Macadamia Nuts in the Philippines Says:
    September 10th, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    [...] How to grow Macadamia – > http://www.agripinoy.net/cultivation-of-macadamias.html [...]

  2. CHARLES SHABAN F Says:
    February 21st, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Good information of macadamia production,they have assisted me write my presentation in class.

  3. rino Says:
    November 5th, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    if the trees will bear fruit after six years, can one buy grown trees already? say a five year old tree and plant them in the pampanga area so that there is a one year adaptation for the tree?

Comments