GO NUTS ABOUT AGRI­CUL­TURE WITH THE FEN­CE­POST

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Noel Thomp­son noel.thomp­son@cnbtimes.com.au

EX­PECT­ING a yield of about 60 to 70 tonnes of pecan nuts this year, Michelle Chicken is look­ing for­ward to a bumper sea­son and lots of pecan pie.

Boyne River Pecans is a fam­ily owned and op­er­ated farm­ing op­er­a­tion owned by Lind­say Chicken and his daugh­ter and son-in-law, Michelle Chicken and Boyd Paton.

Ms Chicken said their prop­erty was lo­cated on the banks of the Boyne River at Mun­dub­bera and long hot sum­mers and short cold win­ters made it ideal con­di­tions for pecan pro­duc­tion.

“The cli­mate here seems to be per­fect for pecans and whilst our ir­ri­ga­tion re­quire­ment is pos­si­bly higher than other pro­duc­ers in the higher rain­fall ar­eas of north­ern NSW, our drier, hot­ter en­vi­ron­ment has an enor­mous ad­van­tage as we re­quire no chem­i­cal use for in­sects, pests and moulds,” she said

“Cur­rently, we are sell­ing nuts at our road­side stall to trav­ellers and lo­cals alike.

“I put a small ad on Face­book and the re­sult was over­whelm­ing, with or­ders com­ing in daily.

“This was very ex­cit­ing for us.”

Dur­ing the past six years the Chick­ens have in­vested in the long-term po­ten­tial of the in­dus­try and this year ex­panded the op­er­a­tion to dou­ble its ca­pac­ity with a fur­ther 5000 trees planted.

Ms Chicken said bulk nuts were sold to Stahmann Farms in Toowoomba who value added the prod­uct and sold un­der Stahmann’s la­bel River­side Nuts which were sold di­rect toWool­worths, IGA and Aldi Stores.

“A small por­tion of nuts may go into China and Viet­nam, how­ever there are not enough pro­duc­ers to fill do­mes­tic de­mand at this point in time, let alone ex­port on a large scale,” she said.

“How­ever, this year we have started sell­ing our own nuts un­der our own la­bel, Boyne River Pecans, di­rectly to con­sumers straight from the pad­dock to their pantry with our own on-farm small scale crack­ing and ker­nelling fa­cil­ity.

“This is where we would even­tu­ally like to take our busi­ness long term.

Michelle Chicken We are sell­ing nuts at our road­side stall to trav­ellers and lo­cals.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

BUMPER SEA­SON: Kieran Stokes drives the har­vester that picks up all the pecan nuts from the ground.

Back packer Kate Down­ing and Deb­bie Crouch are sorting the best pecan nuts in Mun­dub­bera.

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