MANGO growers across the region are preparing for harvest this month a little later than usual because of milder weather conditions.
Farmer Jill Wilson will begin harvesting in the next two weeks on her farm near Lancelin before the first batch of Kensington pride mangoes hit stores in Gingin in March.
Mrs Wilson and her husband John Reymond have been growing mangoes for the past 15 years after retiring from their former professions and opting for a change of lifestyle.
She said typically harvest would have already begun but due to a cool and wet spring, the fruit had taken longer to ripen.
She said because of a very large harvest of 40 tonnes last year and milder weather conditions, she wasn’t expecting a large crop.
“We will start to harvest late this month or early March,” she said.
“We’re expecting a poor crop because we had quite a big crop last year and due to a wet spring the plants didn’t get pollinated at the right time.
“Mangoes need a period of heat to ripen and because of the milder conditions it’s made it harder for the crops.”
Mrs Wilson said despite the poorer season, there would be plenty of mangoes at the markets and available from the tree.
She said she did not think the smaller yield would create an increase in price for the consumer.
“There is a possibility that they may be more expensive at the tail end of the season but I don’t predict there will be any unnecessary priced mangoes,” she said.
Mrs Wilson said her farm, which has around 2000 mango trees, grew Kensington pride mangoes and R2E2.
She said she predicted there would be growth in the industry in WA because of the advantage over other States.
“There is a lot of potential for people to get into mango farming for this area and grow mangoes that are this late in the season, because the availability of mangoes in Sydney and Brisbane would be coming to an end, so there’s a chance to export mangoes from WA over there,” she said.
She said a tip to anyone purchasing mangoes was to buy them when they were still a little bit green. “You can eat a mango that still has a little bit of green and it will be perfect, you don’t have to wait until they are completely yellow,” she said.