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  • Hot weather brings on AU hazelnut crop

    Mar 15th, 2016

    Recent hot weather in New South Wales has brought the hazelnut crop on early. Hazelnut grower Craig Anderson is enjoying a good harvest at Batlow in southern New South Wales.The early crop means that Mr Anderson is spending his days sweeping the fallen nuts from around the base of his 2,800 trees, with a contraption similar to a mini street sweeper attached to the front of a quad bike.The load is tipped on to tarpaulins laid out in the sun, where the rubbish is sifted from the nuts. The nuts are then taken into the shed and spread out in 50 kilogram lots."They dry pretty nicely over the next month or two. They can stay there for one to two years and maintain good quality as long as they are kept nice and cool."Each week Mr Anderson carries out a taste test, and when ready they can then be put into the sorting machine.The drum is set on a slope and as it rotates the nuts are poured in at the top, the different sizes falling through the various sized holes.Muesli makers favour the smaller ones as they are not required to cut them, while the large hazelnuts are sought after by confectioners.Local nuts are preferred for their higher quality, although the majority of hazelnuts are imported from Chile.Mr Anderson also has a regular clientele who have moved from northern Europe to Australia and are also attracted to his larger variety.