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On the Land

22 October, 2021

Low season for local lychees

LYCHEE farmers across the region are experiencing a dismal growing season with some growers reporting anywhere between 0 to 40 percent yield, compared to last season’s crop in the local region.

By Rhys Thomas

Mareeba Lychee farmer Marcello Avolio said that this years crop has been one of the worst experienced by local growers.

LYCHEE farmers across the region are experiencing a dismal growing season with some growers reporting anywhere between 0 to 40 percent yield, compared to last season’s crop in the local region. 

This is going off the already low season last year that saw trees generally produce 50 percent of what they could have. 

This year’s number is between 0 to 40 percent of last year’s crop. Marcello Avolio has been growing lychees in Mareeba for over 30 years and said that growers around the region are experiencing some of their worst seasons yet. 

“Some people have got 0 percent, some people are at 40 percent of last year so I am predicting it will be a 20 percent volume of last year’s crop, which is extremely light” he said. 

“Last year the trees produced half of what they could have and this year it is probably less than a quarter of that. 

“Some growers have started picking, so it all comes down to supply and demand.” 

There have been several swirling theories about why this season’s crop is so small compared to past years and Mr Avolio boils it down to weather and conditions. 

“It could be the late rain event we had is late April early May, the warm winter, some are saying that the sun didn’t really come out in winter, too many male flowers, females didn’t pollinate, Mars and Venus didn’t line up with the Earth,” he said.

“But it’s always weather related.” 

Despite there being a relatively small season ahead, lychees are a very labour-intensive crop and local workers are always needed and welcome. 

“Lychees are very labourintensive, it needs workers, if locals want to do some lychee work go around, ring up and ask,” Mr Avolio said. 

“There will be jobs available everyone is always looking for workers.”

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