A citrus grower in Carnarvon, 900 kilometres north of Perth, has conditioned her trees to fruit early to fill a gap in navel orange supply in Australian supermarkets.
Navel oranges are not commonly grown in Carnarvon due to the harsh weather conditions resulting in fruit that are not particularly orange, or round, making them hard to market.
However, recognising a gap in supply between when imported American and Israeli navel oranges finish in March, and Australian navel oranges hit the market in May, plantation owner Tam Chinnery began to condition her orange trees to fruit in March and April.
“Picking navel oranges really early, simply fills a gap in the market and, for us if we can get in early, we manage to reach some reasonable prices for our fruit,” she said.
Picking in March and April, Tam Chinnery believed her plantation produced the first navel oranges on the market in Australia.