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Celebrating our first macadamia customer in South Africa

Updated: Sep 1, 2020

In preparation for September 4th, the National Macadamia Nut Day, it seems appropriate to announce our first macadamia customer in South Africa, joining our leading macadamia growers in Australia.

Our customer's operation is located in the province of Mpumalanga (near the world famous Kruger National Park), and covers 2500 acres (1000ha). This region remains the major production region in South Africa and has the highest growth rate in the country.

In a true COVID-19 fashion, Sales & Customer Services Manager Paul Grobler and the Australian team, supported the installation process remotely. All the IoT equipment- including gateways, trunk sensors (dendrometers) and irrigation pressure sensors - was shipped and ready for installation in two weeks. The customer was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to install it and start getting information from the trees on an hourly basis.

After our first “remote-training” session, some very interesting insights came about from only two weeks’ worth of data:

  • Traditionally, the customer used published crop factors to make irrigation decisions but the plant data provided by Phytech indicated that more water have been applied than the actual trees' water demand.

  • Recorded irrigation data showed irrigation timing is important because of heavier soil type and slower water infiltration rates.

  • By monitoring trees' growth in real-time the customer could see the difference between blocks as reflected by growth rate and trees' response to irrigation. Blocks that had a slightly slower start to the season ,as seen on the system, were indeed "suspected" blocks that have had some frost.

The orchard team was excited to see that they now have access to real-time data from their plants which is something they have, for quite some time, been searching for in order to optimise production.

Our success team continuously look at the data and provide further insights and recommendations on how to reap the full benefits of the world's most advanced irrigation management platform.

Together with Phytech's irrigation recommendation, Phytech's plant reference, pressure maps and planning tools, our customers enjoy enhanced visibility of their operation and a simple way to optimize production based on the real-time water demand of their trees.

Macadamia academy

Macadamia nuts are indigenous to Australia, originally found in the rain forest along the North Eastern Coast of the continent. South Africa is a strong competitor for the "world's largest macadamia producer" title. Here are some facts about the macadamia industry in South Africa:

  • South Africa has the single largest commercial planting in the world.

  • South Africa opened the largest macadamia processing plant in the world 2 years ago.

  • South Africa grows over 108,000 acres (44,000ha) of Macadamias and is expected to grow approx. 15,000 acres (6,000ha) / annum

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