14 April 2020
Harvest of Australian-grown Imperials has officially commenced at Nutrano Produce Group’s Abbotsleigh Citrus Farm in Central Burnett. Home of the famous Abbotsleigh Lemons and start of season growers of Imperial mandarins in Australia.
Whilst our Lemon harvest continues to exceed our quality expectations with plenty of fruit available for sale in Australia and overseas, the Abbotsleigh Team have switched into another gear, now moving into the Imperial mandarin harvest. Mr Simon Raj, Nutrano’s General Manager of Sales and Marketing, comments “We are thrilled with our crop of Imperials this year - with high sugars and fantastic eating quality. It has been a balancing act of pruning to deliver the ideal crop load, and the right fertigation and nutrition programs to achieve consistency in high quality fruit and good fruit size. We think we’ve got it right this year with our fruit exceeding Australian Citrus Standards achieving brix level average 10.7-12.1 vs spec 10 and juice level averaging 40%. Fruit size profile over the 60mm ringmark and averaging 65mm.”
“We are very proud of our Farm Team who adopt best practice agronomy and always review and refine our programs to deliver optimum fruit that our customers can trust. We also must acknowledge the collaboration we have with DPI in Queensland on R&D and trials to address some of the quality issues that the Central Burnett region is prone to like granulation and frost damage. This ongoing work has clearly placed Nutrano’s Abbotsleigh farm ahead of the curve”
Nutrano continues to enforce strict hygiene and social distancing protocols as Australia continues to manage through the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr George Haggar, CEO of Nutrano Produce Group comments “It’s business as usual across all 13 Nutrano sites across Australia as we continue to harvest, pack and supply quality fresh produce so Australians have access to healthy fresh fruit. The dedication and commitment from our entire Team has been exceptional There is a strong sense of teamwork and co-operation that has been entrenched in our culture since the COVID-19 pandemic escalated which has translated into a shared commitment to growing, packing and selling fruit that our customers – and their customers – can trust.”
The Abbotsleigh Lemon brand is regarded as one of the best lemons in Australia and around the world for its smooth skin, thin rind, exceptionally juicy and few seeds. The coastal climate and location of Abbotsleigh Farm along the mighty Burnett river provides the perfect growing conditions for juicy lemons with a smooth thin rind. To meet the growing consumer demand, an additional 16.94ha of lemons has recently been planted with another 32ha planned in the coming months.
Nutrano Produce Group continues to invest in its Abbotsleigh facility. Last year saw the installation of a new Compac Spectrim grading machine to increase throughput, identify blemishes and improve consistency and accuracy in grading fruit. Trial is also underway of a new Phytech technology to refine irrigation of fruit trees by monitoring plant health and use water more effectively and efficiently to achieve desirable fruit size and sugar levels.
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