Key dates for 2017 crop

A reminder from our General Manager:

By 30 September your crop should be either at the factory, or in an approved storage facility that is known to the factory. This is so that we can pay your interim walnut payout in October/November. Please get in touch if you have walnuts in storage that we currently don’t know about.

Any walnuts delivered after the end of December 2017 will be marked down as ‘old walnuts’ (unless they have been stored in an approved facility known to the factory and we have called them in after December). Only $1 per kg in-shell is paid for old walnuts. We do not accept out-of-season walnuts (i.e. from a previous harvest).

Changes for 2018 harvest

The Board of Directors of Walnuts NZ Co-op has decided that the co-operative will no longer be involved in the arrangement of drying services for growers. The board wants to see our staff time and resources focused on those tasks that growers cannot easily do themselves, namely processing and marketing. In contrast, drying of walnuts is a job that can practically be done on-farm. By focusing our efforts like this, we aim to maximise the value for growers’ crops.

This decision means that you will need to either:

  • make your own arrangements with a drying service – either as an individual or working as a collective with a group of growers who are using that service; or
  • build your own drying equipment – again, either on your own orchard as an individual grower, or working with nearby growers to set up a shared facility.

The co-op, along with the NZ Walnut Industry Group, aims to help you get set up with your drying arrangements for 2018.

Moisture content and moisture measurement for 2017

Given the weather and being aware that some growers are having difficulties with the changed moisture content standard and moisture measurement method for 2017 (8% whole-nut moisture) we have decided to treat the 2017 harvest as a transitional year as we move toward these standards, and allow some variation around these ideals. To that end, for 2017, walnuts will be accepted as meeting the moisture standards if they are below 9% whole-nut moisture OR if they are below 5.5% kernel moisture. We hope this will assist growers with the transition.

As always, if you require any further information / clarification please, in this instance, contact our GM, Shane, direct.

Supply information

Our General Manager, Shane, writes:

We will also be sending a further update on Grading within the next two days but essentially the only key difference is that, in addition to the main Categories:

  • REX, MEYRIC, NZ PURPLE, WILSON WONDER & SEEDLING (previously referred to as WILD),
  • we have introduced a new Category “ GRAFTED – OTHER”. This category covers Grafted Cultivars other than those listed. These other Grafted Cultivars (eg. 101, Vina, etc) can be combined into one bag or bin but will still be considered a single line for Grading purposes based on Quality and Size.

 

Grades and sizing

We are currently reviewing our grading system and will get the new grade definitions out to you as soon as we
can. As in previous years, however, there will be higher prices for:

(a) certified organic compared to conventional;

(b) larger walnuts compared to smaller;

(c) walnuts separated into certain cultivar lines compared to mixed cultivar;

(d) walnuts that are clean and light-coloured compared to discoloured walnuts.

You need not size-sort your walnuts as the factory is purchasing sizing machinery. Your walnuts can come in to
the factory with all sizes mixed into your bags or bins. However, your pay-out will take account of the
proportion of walnuts that fall into each size grade (in addition to the other factors above). Regarding (c)
above, we are currently deciding which cultivars can be mixed together and which should be separated (to
attract the higher price). This separation has to do with shell thickness, shell seal and other factors, which can
impact on the efficiency of our cracking process at the factory. However, we appreciate the extra labour it can
take on the orchard to keep cultivars separate and will try to make this as practical as possible for growers.

  • Nuts that have been left wet for too long with deteriorating kernel, discoloured and mouldy nuts will
    be downgraded or even rejected;
  • The most helpful thing that you the Grower can do for yourself, the industry and the Co-operative is to
    supply high quality clean walnuts