New integrated orchard management guide for macadamia growers

9 Aug 2017

Authors of publication

Macadamia growers have a new guide in their management toolkit – the Integrated Orchard Management Drainage 2017, with the latest information to improve erosion and keep productive soils in place throughout macadamia orchards.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) macadamia development officer Jeremy Bright said the Macadamia Integrated Orchard Management Drainage 2017 guide will give macadamia growers a better understanding of drainage and help them to plan for water flow through their orchard.

“Successful drainage systems will improve orchard productivity and water quality by reducing erosion, which reduces land degradation and improves farm viability,” Mr Bright said.

“Moving water through orchards in a controlled way leads to cleaner water leaving the orchard, less soil loss and root exposure, and ultimately a healthier catchment system.”

The Macadamia Integrated Orchard Management Drainage 2017 guide was funded through Horticulture Innovation Australia, and developed by DPI in partnership with North Coast Local Land Services, the Australian Macadamia Society and industry consultants.

Integrated orchard management (IOM) is a framework for maintaining high productivity in orchards, and recovering orchards in decline.

Successful orchard drainage systems create a synergy between the orchard layout and the landscape, ensuring that:

  • minimal soil movement occurs in rain events
  • concentrated water flows are managed away from macadamia trees
  • blocks are protected from run-on water
  • good conditions for macadamia feeder roots are maintained
  • the orchard floor is trafficable and harvestable.

The guide introduces light detection and ranging (LiDAR) information to the macadamia industry.

This remote sensing technique uses lasers to map a three-dimensional view of a property. Digital models for elevation and predicted soil loss can identify orchard zones that need different management strategies.

Groundcover and drainage-structure placement changes can be modelled to show the potential changes in soil loss.


Download the practice guide, the drainage guide as well as case studies from Macadamia Integrated Orchard Management.

Media contact: Laura Hutton (02) 6024 8837