Last July I introduced the blogletter with this paragraph.

With the huge increase in walnut plantings around the world, especially in China, we need to focus on what advantages we can exploit for walnuts grown in New Zealand. Massive planting has also been happening in countries around the Mediterranean as well as non-traditional places like Australia and Chile. Even in USA the big increase in walnut area is meeting headwinds now their exports to China are finding resistance. We need, and will need even more in the future, to exploit our competitive advantages. In this regard I view any differences in approach, a strength.

So whatever you are doing with your walnuts, let us hear about it, so we can all learn.

To which Valda Muller replied;… 

We sell all of our walnuts direct to customer – either farmers market or  mail order.  The majority would be in halves and pieces.  We tend to be sold out really quickly so at this stage I feel that we still have space to grow our market


Walnut grading and cracking machinery for sale

Hi Nick. The machines are in Tamahere near Hamilton . I have put them all on trade me last night with a $100 reserve each . We need to get them moved so happy to see them go to new homes . Tanya .

trade me link

I would like to know if any of your members would be interested in a variety of machinery for sorting and cracking hazelnuts and walnuts.

 They were originally designed and built by a local engineer to speed up the process of sizing and cracking walnuts and hazelnuts on the family farm. A lot of the trees have now been removed with just a few walnuts and hazels left so are surplus for our requirements.

As they are quite unique processors, I thought that the tree crops association may be the best group to contact first.

 If you could get back to me please that would be great. I can be contacted via this email address or on 0275 453 355

We are open to offers for the machinery, so if anyone is interested to make an offer and collect them that’d be great. The property has been sold, so we need to be moved by 31 October. Here are a few photos of the machinery. I didn’t use the hazel nut machinery this season, but I used the walnut sizer and cracker and they were great in cracking the nuts, half of the quantity cracked were whole and the rest were pieces.

K ind regards

Tanya Ankersmit []

Here are some more photos that don’t seem to be the same as the TradeMe photos

Nut cracker

Hazelnut and walnut sizers

The Season

How does the season look as though it is shaping up to you. It has been a bit wet here, with Ngatea on the TV showing dairy farmers up to their ankles in mud. Actually, it seems as if everywhere has been unusually wet, with this blight alert being sent out to Walnut Industry Group members by the chairman Nelson Hubber.

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been observing the Canterbury weather and the trees and thinking that this is an unusual year. Late bud burst, misty damp conditions and no frosty nights or dry nor west winds.

To me this ads up to good conditions for blight and so I rang Tim Armitage who uses the Lincoln University Blight Calculation Spreadsheet.

Tim is good at regularly collecting data and monitoring what’s going on and he is able to compare this year with other years.

To cut a long story short I received information back form Tim today and according to the spreadsheet THE BLIGHT CALCULATION THIS YEAR IS 30 TIMES WORSE THAN LAST YEAR. Which confirms what I observed.

Climatic information etc is put into the spreadsheet to make the calculation which tells when to spray and it doesn’t actually “count blight” but it’s a good indicator.

Tim’s orchard it at Eyerton on the north side of the Waimakariri river so if you’re in a different area then obviously your blight risk may be different.

Anyway I think that the last few years have given us in Canterbury a false sense of blight security and we do need to spray more vigilantly this year. Otherwise the result could be a large crop of unsaleable walnuts.

There will be more information about blight and blight management in our next Newsletter, which will be out soon, and I will also be sending out a chemical supply list from John McKendry.

We’d like to hear about conditions in other [orchards] if anyone would like to send them in. [May apply just to WIG members?]


Nelson Hubber

Chairman, New Zealand Walnut Industry Group.

Actually, I think we will take our chances and not spray. Previous attempts at controlling blight have ended up with having quite a lot of expense with very little response to show for it. Maybe this season will be the one that proves the rule, but we are going to chance not spraying.

In previous blogletters I have described experiments to try and control codlin moth (I have gone back to the English spelling). I don’t think we shall be doing any of them again either. It has become apparent that any baiting programme has to be deployed in huge numbers to be effective. In a mature walnut orchard that is just too difficult. The damage from codlin moth was no less last season in spite of our baiting programme. It was no more either, (maybe the moth traps stopped an increase; maybe) so we will see what happens again this year.

Let us hear what approach you take to controlling pests and disease on your walnuts? We are fortunate in this country not to have some of the problems overseas growers have. Thank God we don’t have bears, wombats or squirrels! But what do you do about blight, Phytophthora, codlin moth, Puriri moth and vermin? We can all benefit from your stories.

All the best

nick nelson parker