SUMMARY OF FINDINGS HORTICULTURE
Although the number of orange trees increased in 2008-09 by 12% to 6.8 million trees, production fell by 15% to 348 thousand tonnes.
Both mandarin production and the number of mandarin trees were down 4% in 2008-09. Production in Queensland, the main producing state, was down by 20%.
In 2008-09, apple producers reported a decrease of almost one million trees (12%), but production rose by 11% to 295 thousand tonnes. Pear growers reported falls, both in the number of trees (down by 5% to 1.6 million trees) and in production which dropped by 8% to 120 thousand tonnes.
Other fruit and nuts
In 2008-09, the area planted to bananas increased by 22% to 12 thousand hectares. Banana production rose by 31% to 270 thousand tonnes, driven by increased production in Queensland (Australia's main producing state) where production was up by 32% from 2007-08. These increases bring production levels back in line with pre-2006 levels.
Further decreases from 2006-07 in mango production were recorded in 2008-09, down by 17% to 41 thousand tonnes from 2007-08. This reduced production was driven by poor conditions in Queensland (down 23%). Queensland accounted for 67% of national mango production.
Although the number of macadamia trees increased by 13% to 3.9 million in 2008-09, reduced production due to unfavourable conditions in the major producing states of New South Wales (down by 12%) and Queensland (down by 5%) pushed national production down by 10% to 30 thousand tonnes.
The area for carrots sown in 2008-09 increased by 5% to 5 thousand hectares, but there was a slight decrease in production (down 3%) to 264 thousand tonnes. Production decreased in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, but increased in the other states.
Production of mushrooms declined by 8% to 43 thousand tonnes, driven by decreases in Queensland (down 31% and continuing declines of recent years in that state), and New South Wales (down from a peak in the previous year). The area sown to mushrooms also dropped, down by 11% to 159 hectares.
In 2008-09 increases were reported in both area of onions (up 9% to 5 thousand hectares) and production of onions (up 12% to 284 thousand tonnes). All producing states recorded increased production, except for Western Australia which was down 20% from 2007-08. Tasmanian production continued the increases of recent years and overtook South Australia as the main producing state.
In 2008-09, there were declines for potatoes in both area sown and production. A total area of 33 thousand hectares (down 15%), resulted in a 16% downturn in production to 1.2 million tonnes. This continued a pattern of reduced production reported over the past decade.
The area of tomatoes sown remained steady at 7 thousand hectares in 2008-09 but there was a 15% increase in production to 440 thousand tonnes. This national increase in production was driven by the major producing state, Victoria, recording a 40% increase from 2007-08 when production was affected by poor seasonal factors.