WA truffle growers to reap record harvest yields

Only several weeks into the harvest period, WA truffle growers are expecting to exceed state records in yield by over 30 percent.

President of the Australian Truffle Growers Association, Anne Mitchell said last year’s harvest of 3000 kilograms with be trumped by this year's expected yeild.

“The harvest is looking fantastic. There’s really good numbers and lovely truffle coming out of the ground. It looks like a record harvest,” Mitchell told ABC Rural.

 “I think we’ll top 4,000 kilograms, possibly 5,000.”

WA’s record production is in far contrast to the rest of the Nation, with the eastern states of NSW and Victoria only producing 450 kilograms last season combined.

“It’s a big problem for the industry. We’re not quite sure why some areas are successful and why other areas are erratic or patchy or non-productive,” said Mitchell.

“We really need to do some research on trying to pin down what those reasons are. Whether it’s climatic, or soil, or some other factor; we really don’t know.”

“Tasmania, like Victoria and New South Wales, has patchy production. Some very good areas [and] some areas that are puzzlingly problematic.”

Mitchell says that increased yield will not lead to the fear of an oversaturated market as the industry has conscientiously established its markets, and is always on the lookout for new and receptive buyers.

“We are getting acceptance into Europe now, a little like the wine industry was in the early 1980s, where the Europeans are starting to recognise that Australian truffle is the real thing. It’s as good as, if not better, than the European species,” she says.

“It is a developing industry, and with a developing industry goes a developing marketplace. I wouldn’t say we have it sown up, but it is developing well and I would say we have an optimistic outlook.”

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