MACADAMIAS – Gene Likhanya, Limpopo
We have trees on three different farms ranging from 2 to 15 years old with Beaumont, A4, 695 and Nelmak cultivars. We are currently doing tree management, mainly pruning, and firebreaks on the orchard as we prepare for the new flower season. The flowering season started around late August and will start forming fruit in late September.
We are also focusing on soil balancing and a basic nutrition programme, accompanied by moringa as a foliar application. We provide 2:3:4 or potassium nitrate to provide the trees with more energy and prepare them for the flowering period.
Throughout this period, we must ensure that the trees are well-fed and get the right nutrients. If not, these trees will not be able to produce and carry the nuts when they are stressed due to some adverse weather conditions. If it becomes too windy, especially in the windy period of August, the trees will lose too many flowers, which obviously will affect production.
Later we will start providing productive trees with calcium-based fertilisers to keep them strong and able to carry fruit to term. If not well nourished, the tree will choose to save itself and start dropping the nuts when the stressful period comes.
We only start the pesticide programme later, between January and February, when the nuts have already formed and are in the process of building up oil and start attracting pests, such as the stink bug. We try to use environmentally friendly methods as much as we can so that we don’t harm the birds and the bees, which are very important to our production.