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The Staking Plans Macadamia Example

Last weekend there was a quite interesting segment on the ABC Landline programme - about the last ABC programme I bother watching really since they decided to be all left wing politics BS and waste my tax dollars.

It was about macadamia nuts and growing them and marketing them. Now what on earth has macadamia nuts growing got to do with gambling and horse racing? Stay tuned

The yield in good Australian orchards is around 2 thousand kilos an acre so at a wholesale price of $3.50 a kilo it is very lucrative - especially compared to other primary industry endeavours.

However there are a few problems along the way to enormous returns. Firstly you have to plant out the tree saplings at exactly the right distance apart for the machinery they use to harvest the nuts to be able to work efficiently. These lines of trees can run literally for miles and miles and each line has to have a watering drip system in place so the cost of setting this up is not exactly a small amount of cold hard cash - well unless you want to mortgage your rear end to the banks.

Then you have to wait - and wait - and wait.

Macadamia nut trees can start bearing a small crop in the fifth year after planting, and full production is reached in 12 to 15 years.

In the mean time there are a few diseases to contend with along the way just to make your life as a macadamia grower a bit more interesting.

° Macadamia root rot - Kretzschmaria clavis

° Trunk canker - Phytophthora cinnamomi

° Dieback or slow decline - disease infection in trunk or root, prolonged drought, anaerobic conditions caused by compaction or poor drainage, poor root structure caused by planting root bound trees, toxic chemicals from herbicides or over application or uneven application of fertilizers, or nutritional problems

° Macadamia quick decline (MQD) - unknown stress factors (Waterlogged soil, low pH, nutritional problems, and fungal and stem rots are suspected stress factors with ambrosia beetle attacks hastening the tree decline. The fungi Xylaria and Nectria are frequently associated with MQD.)

° Flower blights - Phytophtora capsici or Botrytis cinerea with Cladosporium usually secondary or affecting raceme tips

° Premature nut drop - most premature drop is normal, environmental stress may cause more premature drop than normal

Oh, did we mention the insects?

° Ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus affinis)
° Broad mite (Polyphagotarsonemus latus)
° Longhorned grasshopper (Conocephalus saltator)
° Narrow-winged katydid (Elimaea punctifera)
° Southern green stink bug (Nezara viridula)
° Koa seed worm (Crytophlebia illepida)
° Macadamia shot borer (Hypothenemus obscurus)
° Hawaiian flower thrips (Taenothrips hawaiiensis)
° Redbanded thrips (Selenothrips rubrocinctus)

Despite all this, the macadamia is Australia's most successfully commercialised bush food, and is worth $200 million a year.

Most growers start to get a return after the sixth year and are doing really well by year 12. That's YEAR 12.

Not day 12, or months 12 or bet number 12.

You undoubtedly get it - the connection that is.

These macadamia growers have the confidence to set aside huge amounts of capital, confident in the knowledge, that based on their research and financial model, the returns will come.

If you are not prepared to set aside a substantial amount of capital, believing that over time your approach to racing will bear fruit, regardless of the time frame, give punting away. It's not for you.

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