The Stahmann Webster pecan portfolio comprises an aggregation of five orchards at Pallamallawa, some 35 kilometres east of Moree in northern New South Wales.
Our landmark property, Trawalla (Aboriginal for ‘flood waters’), was established in the late 1960s as the first large scale pecan orchard outside of North America and soon developed a reputation for excellent yields and quality.
Thanks to an ideal set of circumstances, for which the site was specifically selected, Trawalla produces some of the most sought-after pecans in the world. The area’s eight to ten metres of well-drained alluvial soils are some of the deepest and richest in the country, and good rainfall is supplemented by water drawn from the Gwydir River which almost encircles the property. The local climate is well-suited to pecan trees, creating low pest pressure and near-perfect growing conditions.
Expansion of our pecan plantings to neighbouring Redbank commenced in the 1990s and has gained significant momentum since 2017 with the development of Loch Lomond, Oongarah and Long Creek, all of which are contiguous or nearly so to Trawalla.
The Stahmann Webster pecan plantings comprise two main varieties, Wichita and Western Schley, interspersed by rows to facilitate cross-pollination which takes place in September-October each year. From this time onwards the nuts grow quickly to be almost fully formed by February. The final few weeks of maturation see the nuts fill with nutritious oils and harden until they are ready for harvest in May.
Being deciduous, pecan trees turn yellow-orange in autumn and make a glorious sight at harvest time. By July, when the last of the crop is collected, the trees are leafless, presenting a gaunt contrast to the deep green richness of their summer foliage.
Nuts are removed from the trees by a mobile shaker and collected from the ground by mechanical harvesters. They are de-husked on farm before being shipped to the Toowoomba plant for storage and shelling as required.
When harvest is underway in Australia, American pecans are still sprouting summer growth, and whilst a large proportion of our crop is sold domestically our counter-seasonality affords an opportunity to ship fresh, new season crop to discerning buyers around the world, from Asia to Europe and the Middle East.
Continually searching for improvement, we are proactive in our pursuit of new and better ways. Since the 1990s, Stahmann Webster famously pioneered the development of insecticide-free farming methods and continues to employ advanced biological pest control technologies. These include the use of natural insect predators and moulds to regulate the population of harmful pests whilst maintaining beneficial biodiversity in our pecan orchards.
Such practices, and the relative isolation of our orchards in the Gwydir Valley, allow us to farm pecans without the use of pesticides, to the benefit of the land, our farm staff and our loyal consumers.
To book site tours of Trawalla, please contact O’Dempsey’s Charters & Local Tours directly:
+61 427 542 167 | [email protected]