Australia - Chestnut growers still optimistic despite major WA harvest production losses due to warmer, drier climate

17.06.2024 86 views

John and Linda Stanley have just come out the other side of what they are calling "the worst year for any chestnut grower".

For the past 10 years, they have owned and operated Chestnut Brae, a 28-hectare, 1,000-tree chestnut farm near Nannup, 260 kilometres south of Perth.

A warming climate and a lack of rainfall over the past 10 months have caused a huge drop in production at their recent harvest.

"We normally expect a 12 tonne on average, this year we got 1.7 tonne," Mr Stanley said.

"When you're expecting 12, that is a major challenge especially when the market is demanding more product."

However, the chestnut growers consider themselves the lucky ones.

"Most farmers didn't collect any nuts, they didn't harvest at all, so I guess you could think of us lucky that we managed 1.7 tonne," he said.

Working with a changing climate

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, annual rainfall in the past 30 years has decreased by 6 per cent in the South West of WA, with the biggest drop in autumn and the early winter months.

The chestnut farmers believe agriculturalists need to start seriously looking at alternative crops, to work with the drying climate instead of against it.

"There's a farmer near us considering growing dates, I would have laughed at him a few years ago but now it's becoming more suitable for those types of crops," Mr Stanley said.

Looking at their own business model, the Stanleys have been expanding the range of products they supply, as well as dividing the crop into three to ensure maximum profitability.

"We know we can sell the largest third of the crop as a nut, the middle third goes to our products, and the smallest third we feed to our chestnut-fed pigs," Ms Stanley said.

"But while we've been expanding our product this year, we have only got 1.7 tonne instead of 12, so it's going to be huge challenge.

"We can't just do the same thing moving forward, that's going to be failure."

Thinking sideways instead of forwards

Mr and Mrs Stanley want to be known as price makers, instead of price takers, so they have developed products that are unique.

"We sell chestnut ale, liqueur, mustard, flour," Mr Stanley said.

"It means thinking sideways, looking at how you can develop a product that interests consumers."

The company is also part of the Global Agritourism Network and recently received 2024 World Agri-Tourism awards.

Farms from around the globe entered the competition, with Chestnut Brae and a farmstay in Tasmania highlighted for their innovation and development.

The Stanleys' choice to build agritourism into their business was their way of educating people about how agriculture is changing.

"It's all about city people coming to explore, getting them to come and look at how their food is produced; the new generations need to understand this," Ms Stanley said.

"We run tours which cover everything from the gardens, the orchard, the uses of chestnuts, and how the chestnuts are processed. They can taste the end product."

Mr Stanley added how important it was to create opportunities for metropolitan areas to understand the changing climate.

"I'm not being critical of the city folk, but it is harder to see what is happening in rural situations, they don't see the grass change colour," he said.

Overseas interest

Chestnut Brae's product is considered a part of a "boutique market".

They are limited to growing 1,000 trees, due to management restrictions and water availability.

Major interest is coming from overseas buyers and in recent weeks the farm has had visitors from as far away as Japan.

"Places like Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or Dubai is the right size market for a business like ourselves," Mr Stanley said.

"International visitors and potential buyers are coming down to the farm wanting to know about where their food comes from; they are foodies by nature."

Source -


India - Huge damage to standing crops in villages on banks of Pranahita

Heavy rain and floods caused huge damage to standing crops in Komaram Bheem and Mancherial districts. Floodwaters inundated agricultural fields and damaged cotton, soya and redgram crops in villages on the banks of River Pranahita.


India - Compensation for crop losses continues to be a distant dream for farmers

The Union Budget 2024 has failed to address the important issue of farmer crop losses yet again. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the budget for the financial year 2024-25, allocated Rs 600 crore to enhance agricultural infrastructure.


South Sudan - Poor rainfall leads to crop failure in Mvolo County

The authorities in Mvolo County in Western Equatoria State over the weekend said the area has received less than normal rainfall which has caused insufficient food production. John Abdallah, the County Executive Director, said the rains were delayed and were poor when they started and that the area is likely to be food insecure this season.


USA - Extreme drought declared for the entire Shenandoah Valley and beyond

The entire Shenandoah Valley is now under extreme drought conditions, with portions of West Virginia experiencing severe to extreme drought levels. The drought is a result of a lack of precipitation, making this July the driest since records began in 1835.


USA - Storm destroys $500K worth of crops at Berthoud farm

More rain fell in Denver on Saturday than the entire month of June, leaving flooded roadways and 90 calls for service within one hour. Meanwhile, hailstorms swept through farmlands in Berthoud, destroying a season’s worth of crops on one malthouse’s farm.


Managing squash bugs to minimize vine crop damage

A few weeks ago a friend on Facebook posted a picture of a squash bug or Anasa tritis. Seems he was scouting his garden and found the insects on his squash plants. Squash bug has a snout it inserts in the circulatory system of the plant and drains the life out of the plant.


USA - Central Valley farmers adapt to hot temps to avoid major losses

Dangerous heat requires extreme caution even when caring for fresh produce. The extended period of intense heat is impacting the crops in the Central Valley. Now farmers are having to make some changes to avoid losing their product and protect their livelihood.


India - Solan Maize crop over 4,700 hectares hit by ‘fall armyworm’

For fourth year in a row, the fall armyworm has hit the maize crop in Solan district, with 4,750 hectare area coming under attack. Maize growers fear a 15 to 20 per cent crop loss. Elongated papery windows spreading all over leaves on a plant appear when the pest attacks the maize crop.

istanbul escort şişli escort tbilisi escort şişli escort şişli escort maslak escort istanbul escort beşiktaş escort taksim escort izmir escort ümraniye escort mecidiyeköy escort şişli escort taksim escort ümraniye escort kartal escort şirinevler escort maltepe escort istanbul escort ümraniye escort kadıköy escort vip escort mersin escort istanbul escorts ataköy escort avcılar escort beylikdüzü escort okmeydanı escort şişli escort tuzla escort işitme cihazı sex shop sex shop sex shop sex shop sex shop sex shop sex shop sex shop