Nutrano Produce Group started the seedless lemon harvest at the end of January at their Abbotsleigh Farm in Central Burnett, Queensland and will transition to Eureka and Lisbon varieties over the next couple of months through to July. The company also grows lemons at Eumaralla Farm in Katherine and across their Sunraysia properties to complement their all year-round lemon supply.
Abbotsleigh Citrus Farm Manager – Craig Estens says, “The location of our Abbotsleigh Farm along the Burnett River in the Central Burnett region provides the perfect growing conditions for lemons with its coastal climate, humidity as well as the additional rainfall over spring. We’ve had heavy rainfall over spring and start of summer so the team have been extra vigilant with farm health and maintenance to keep on top of spraying, weed control and pest control.”
LaNina events brought on a significant increase in rainfall into the region towards the end of last year with the farm receiving over 200mm in November alone compared to 7.8mm the previous year. The additional rainfall has helped to restore water levels in the local Paradise Dam and secure water supply for the farm.
“Rainfall during spring the period has been beneficial to the farm and has set us up well for a good crop load of lemons for 2022. The fruit is sizing well for this time of the year with steady growth. We’re seeing exceptional quality fruit coming off the trees with a smooth thin rind that Abbotsleigh lemons are renowned for. The seedless lemons that we are currently harvesting have a more elongated shape lemon with a narrow girth compared to your standard seeded lemons however they are still a large piece of fruit with lots of juice content.” said Mr Estens.
Australian-grown lemons from Queensland are in production now and just in time for Easter which traditionally sees strong consumer demand with the increased consumption of seafood for Lent as well as for Easter entertaining.
Mr Estens adds “We’ve had a lot of traction with our lemons into the export market over the years. Our Abbotsleigh brand is world renowned for producing exceptional quality lemons and is in high demand in global markets including Canada and Indonesia, as well as across Asia. We recently upgraded the Abbotsleigh packing facility to meet the strict MRL protocols for export markets which will allow more market access into new countries. With volumes ramping up we will commence our export program shortly.