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Great news for mango lovers with good supply expected out of North Queensland

Lara Webster, Friday October 6, 2017 - 16:15 EDT
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Dale Williams could not be any happier with how his mango trees have recovered since Cyclone Debbie. - ABC

Mango lovers relax — tropical Cyclone Debbie came and went without causing too much damage to your favourite fruit.

Good supply is expected to be harvested from crops hit by Debbie, which struck in North Queensland in April leaving a $1.8 billion damage bill.

The mango harvest in Bowen, which was at the centre of the storm, is looking good.

Local grower Dale Williams said he expected to see plenty of fruit, including the much-loved Kensington Pride [KP] or Bowen mango.

"There are going to be plenty of mangoes,'' Mr Williams said.

''The fruit set is good so the people who are waiting for their mangoes this summer — I can guarantee there will be plenty.''

He tipped the KPs in particular would have a much better season than last year, when supply of the variety was down.

"I have had a look at orchards of KPs and there is good fruit set."

The R2E2 variety had also recovered well along with the honey-gold variety.

While that may be welcome news to consumers, it is even better for growers.

"You are never sure when you have events like cyclones and rain at the wrong time just how the tree will react," Mr Williams said.

"It is a bit of a lottery and we are very thankful that we have a good crop."

Plenty of pruning

To ensure the mango trees recovered as well as possible after the impacts of the cyclone, growers have had to outlay time and money to prune.

Mr Williams has spent at least an extra $50,000 on pruning.

"They had a lot of twisted branches and it was not easy to get into them, they were twisted and turned into the tree," he said.

"To go through and tidy up was expensive and time consuming but I think worthwhile because our trees are looking great."

Picking to begin late October

Mr Williams believed the first of the district's mango orchards would begin picking later this month, with his own to start in November.

"We are expecting that we will have a small amount going through our packing facility the end of October," Mr Williams said.

Overall Mr Williams said he could not be happier with how the season was shaping up, especially considering all that had happened.

"The signs are good, we have got the fruit.''


© ABC 2017

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