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8 September 2017: Growing macadamias could offer a new income stream for floodplain farmers and Northern Rivers landholders, according to experts addressing a workshop this week.

More than 25 people attended the first of a series of sessions looking at the options for new orchard developments.

The initiative of local farmers is funded by the Australian Government through the Farm Co-operative and Collaboration Program, known as Farming Together, and supported by Regional Development Australia Northern Rivers and NSW DPI and Fisheries.

The session, held at Wardell sports club, was focussed on soil and drainage management for new orchard developments.

Speakers included Racheal Jenner, environmental officer from Ballina Council, Pat Dwyer from NSW Fisheries,  Janus Erasmus from Freshpaws consulting and Dr Bernhard Wehr from University of Queensland’s School of Agriculture and Food Science.

Organiser Robbie Commens, managing director of 2te, said the attendance exceeded expectations. “The workshop went really well and there was strong interest to attend the second workshop, planned for early October at Wardell Sports club. The next workshop will focus on orchard layout and mapping.

“Thanks to getting some funding from Farming Together, these workshops enable growers to talk directly to other growers on a specific issue, which is huge value. It has also enabled us to bring in some expertise on a specific topic. This enables growers to work together in solving the ongoing farming challenge of combining the theory from the experts with the reality of farming. They share and compare ideas and experiences.

“These workshops are a great way for growers to understand and incorporate best practice into new orchard developments.”

For more details about forthcoming workshops, contact Robbie from 2 tonne enterprises (2te) on 0429 553 659 or email – robbie@2te.com.au

Pictured: Dr Bernhard Wehr from UQ School of Agriculture and Food science addressing the group of growers.