Coleambally irrigator and owner of Prickel Hill Produce Roy Duffell has heralded Chinese dates as a super fruit solution to the region's water woes.
As a third generation grower of plums Mr Duffell grows the dates alongside his black autumns, autumn giants and amber jewels over 70 acres on his main farm in Coly before processing them at his smaller farm in Yenda.
Since first growing dates in 2013 Mr Duffell believes he has stumbled upon a crop which is ideally suited for the MIA.
While January's heatwave played havoc on his plums destroying around two thirds of his crop plums, including almost all of his amber jewels, Mr Duffell said his dates have been performing perfectly.
He was able to produce around 12 tonnes of dates, enough to fill 3000 boxes this season.
"They're very suitable to our climate, they don't use as much water (as plums) and they don't need sprays," Mr Duffell said.
"We're virtually organic, we use organic fertiliser and they don't require a lot of nitrogen, if you give them too much they split."
"Fruit fly will attack the dates but fruit fly will attack plums in preference to them."
Dates are popular in Chinese cuisine, especially in sauces.
Mr Duffell harvests dates during the Chinese off-season to take advantage of domestic and export demand.
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