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Grower Profile: Glen and Ally Uebergang

Macadamia growers Glen and Ally Uebergang 

In their five years growing macadamias in the Palmers Channel near Yamba in NSW, Glen and Ally Uebergang have faced no shortage of challenges. But they have overcome them using technical know-how, innovation, and a positive outlook.

With a Bachelor of Ag. Science from UNE and a background in environmental science between them, Glen and Ally Uebergang had experience in broadacre mixed farming before they bought their floodplain sugar cane farm on the lower Clarence in 2019. They decided to convert the farm to a macadamia orchard and planted around 7000 trees over the next three years. 

Growing macadamia nuts Glen and Ally Uebergang 
Growing macadamia nuts, Uebergang family, NSW.

But the natural beauty of their area came at a cost. 

“We needed to do something to support the trees because due to our proximity to the coast, we get a lot of wind, and the soil gets very sodden when it gets saturated,” said Glen. They developed a support wire system for the trees, connected to the irrigation system. “As the trees grow, the support wire gets raised, lifting the irrigation line with it,” Glen explains. This innovation proved critical during the natural disasters that hit just as planting was complete.

Just weeks after finishing planting, the orchard was hit by the devastating Northern NSW floods of February 2022. The entire farm flooded for five days. The water was 30 cm higher than any previously recorded flood peak, according to their neighbours who have lived in the area their whole lives. 

Flooded macadamia trees near Yamba 2022
Flooded macadamia trees near Yamba 2022

Fortunately, most of their newly-planted trees had some leaves above the water, and the support wire ensured the trees didn’t fall over during the flood. This helped them to respond more quickly when the ground finally dried out. 

However, the hits kept coming. A second flood in April 2022, followed by a mini cyclone, tested the resilience of their innovations. 

“The support wires stopped trees being blown over. Also, because the irrigation line was raised it wasn’t damaged by the flood and didn’t need maintenance,” say the pair. 

Uebergang macadamia farm 2022
Uebergang macadamia farm 2022

Despite a difficult 24 months, Glen and Ally remain extremely positive, saying that they didn’t go into the industry expecting there wouldn’t be challenges or downturns. 

“We still see a long-term future in macadamias. We love the lifestyle and the opportunity to grow macadamias as a family and we are really enjoying our journey so far.”

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