The Northern Territory mango harvest is starting to ramp up with the first fruit starting to be picked in the Top End town of Pine Creek.

About 85,000 trays of mangoes were sent to market from the Darwin region last week with the peak expected in mid-October.

Mangoes are expected to flow from the Katherine region in late September.

The Pine Creek mango farm started a select pick of mangoes this week with more fruit ready to come off the trees in mid-September.

Happy with quality of the fruit

Owner Wayne Quach said while select picking was expensive, the higher prices on offer at the start of the season made it worthwhile.

“Normally we can have the worker do around two bins per day, but right now we are lucky if we have one person picking one bin per day, so it is about double the cost [in labour],” he said.

“We are very happy with the quality of the fruit, now we just have to get a bit more water [on the trees] to get the fruit a bit bigger size and we will be happy.”

Mr Quach, who is also vice-president of the NT Mango Industry Association, said there was a surprisingly large volume of excellent quality fruit on the market already.

“In a typical market about half the fruit is second or third class fruit and that usually hurts the pricing, but of the fruit in the market right now about 75 to 85 per cent of fruit is first grade,” he said.

“So the average quality of Darwin fruit is catching up and that is what the industry needs. We don’t need any bad fruit in the market.”

Original article by ABC Rural

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