“Mandarin production currently represents about 20% of Australia’s citrus production and is expanding as demand for this type of citrus fruit grows both in Australia and internationally,” said manual co-author Graeme Sanderson, Research Horticulturalist, NSW DPI.
Last year Australian mandarins were exported to 34 countries, with China being the main market with 34% sent to China, 16% sent to Thailand and 10% sent to Hong Kong. Mandarin export earnings are second to oranges and were valued at $138 million in 2017 as compared to oranges at $274 million.
Moreover, between 2014 and 2016 the area planted to mandarin in Australia increased 17% from 5,310 to 6,199 hectares.
“The manual can support decisions in the orchard establishment phase and it provides details on the broader principles that underpin management strategies on a seasonal basis,” said Graeme.
Comprising 318 pages including photographs and graphics, the manual covers topics such as basic orchard management; rootstocks and varieties; nutrition; irrigation; canopy management; pests and diseases; postharvest handling; diseases; and disorders.
Graeme added that rootstock selection to match soil type, desired fruit quality and long-term compatibility is an important topic covered in the manual.
“The manual has an extensive section on rootstocks for mandarins with the most current information to help growers make the right choice,” he said.
The authors are retired NSW DPI officers Sandra Hardy and Patricia Barkley; Michael Treeby, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Victoria; Malcolm Smith, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries; and Graeme Sanderson, NSW DPI.
Copies are available from Dareton Primary Industries Institute, Local Land Services office at Buronga, NSW, and the Citrus Australia office in Lemon Avenue, Mildura, Victoria.
The manual will also be placed on the NSW DPI website during 2018.
The manual is produced by the NSW Department of Primary Industries as an output of two citrus projects in Bhutan partially funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR): HORT/2010/142 ‘Improving mandarin production in Bhutan and Australia through the implementation of on-farm best management practices’ and HORT/2010/089 ‘Adapting integrated crop management technologies to commercial citrus enterprises in Bhutan and Australia’.