Delicious Australian Macadamia nuts from NEW varieties

Breeding history ::

Macadamia is Australia’s most successful indigenous agricultural commodity. Although initial development through breeding and agronomic research was carried out in Hawaii at the Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station (HAES) during the 20th century, this work has been furthered in Australia.

New varieties were developed in Hawaii, tested in previous regional variety trials and planted widely over the past 40 years in the then-fledgling Australian industry with varying success. Local macadamia breeding programmes were also developing and releasing varieties.

Variable performance of these Hawaiian varieties in Australia led to the establishment of the National Macadamia Breeding Programme.

From the first generation of macadamia seedlings 20 genotypes were selected to be included in Regional Variety Trials Series 3 along with five standard varieties (HAES 741, HAES 344, HAES 816, HAES 246 and A16). These genotypes were planted and tested in locations in QLD (Mackay, Emerald, three sites in Bundaberg, and Childers) and NSW (Alstonville, McLean’s Ridges and Macksville) for nine years.

Information on yield, nut and tree characteristics and kernel performance was collected and, using sophisticated genetic analysis, developed recommendations to the Australian macadamia industry. The different genotypes were grafted onto two rootstocks, H2 seedling and Beaumont cuttings, in a number of the blocks to test influence on yield and tree performance in different environments.

There was no consistent rootstock x scion (budwood) interaction meaning that in some locations, some traits, in different years showed some significant rootstock effect. For further details about the rootstock results in different soil types and regions, please review the final report.

Four new  high performing macadamia varieties have been identified and commercialised by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), in partnership with Macadamia Innovation, from the CSIRO group of 20.

The four DAF varieties are currently known as:

  1. Variety G [MIV1-G] :: A large, precocious tree with high yields and kernel recovery (KR) of 40%+. Suitable for Bundaberg and Northern Rivers.
  2. Variety J [MIV1-J] :: Medium to large tree with large nuts and high KR (44%) more suited to the Bundaberg region.
  3. Variety P [MIV1-P] :: A small to medium, precocious tree suitable for high-density planting. More suitable to Bundaberg but produces heavy crops in NSW. KR in high 30’s.
  4. Variety R [MIV1-R] :: Medium size tree that crops well in northern NSW with a KR of 37%.

This summary is provided from the Final Report into Macadamia Regional Variety Trials Series 3, Phase 2 (MC11001)

  • 1980’s & 90’s

    Fledgling industry with varieties from Hawaii grown in NSW Northern Rivers area

    (Macadamia tetraphylla)

  • 1980’s & 90’s

    And from the Gold Coast to Maryborough

    (Macadamia integrifolia)

    1980’s & 90’s

  • 1990’s

    Tax incentives for Australian farmers to invest in Macadamias

  • 1996

    CSIRO starts breeding new macadamia varieties in Australia

    1996

  • Late 1990’s

    Bundaberg cane farms being converted to Macadamias with limited success

    (Hawaiian varieties not suited to drier climate with free-draining sandy soils)

  • 2008-09

    Ten trials of new Industry breeding lines planted in Qld & NSW

    2008-09

  • 2011

    Acacia Plateau site Casino decommissioned

  • 2014

    McLean’s Ridges trial site decommissioned

    2014

  • 2014

    New site at Wirrawilla near Bundaberg included in the project

  • 2015

    Childers site - the most productive & precious trial site - almost totally destroyed by severe storm cell

    2015

  • 2017

    Cyclone Debbie struck Mackay test site

  • 4 July 2017

    Four new varieties released to the market commercialised through QSGA

    4 July 2017