The Australian citrus industry produces primarily fresh fruit for domestic and export markets. The major production areas are in the dry Riverland area of South Australia, the Murray Valley regions of Victoria and New South Wales, the Riverina area of New South Wales and the more humid Central Burnett region in Queensland. Smaller citrus production exists in western and coastal New South Wales; Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Valencia and navel oranges have been the mainstay of the industry, but changes have occurred in recent times with a move away from Valencia oranges. About 55% of the total Valencia orange crop is processed into fresh juice and 35% is sold as fresh fruit (20% domestically and 15% for export). Mandarin production has increased particularly in the Central Burnett region of Queensland.
Wind is an important production concern particularly for fresh fruit production because of windscar. While artificial windbreaks have been studied and employed, living windbreaks are more common. Because environments vary from one citrus region to another, each State maintains a list of recommend plant species that include Eucalyptus, Casuarina, Pinus, Cypress and poplar.
(Narrative by Bill Castle and Pat Barkley; photos provided by Sandra Hardy)
Fig. 1 . A young grove with a Casuarina windbreak .
Fig. 2. A row of Casuarina plants that have been hedged to encourage vertical growth.
Fig. 3. A novel windbreak arrangement using sets of three poplar trees planted at the ends of each grove row. This arrangement is often used when there is insufficient space within a grove for full windbreaks rows.
Fig. 4. A windbreak of Eucalyptus plants that often lose their lower branches as they age. Thus, these trees have been interplanted with bamboo.
Fig. 5. A grove with a young Casuarina windbreak.
Fig. 6. A sorghum windbreak about 2 years after planting alongside a new grove of citrus trees.
Fig. 7. The row of citrus trees in the center of the photo is adjacent to a sorghum windbreak. Compare their appearance and growth with the trees further to the rear in the photo.