Carob Research Projects
University research funded by the Commonwealth Government’s Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation led to Digby Race publishing the results of his study during 1996-97 in Carob agroforestry industry: an assessment of its potential for the low-medium rainfall Murray Valley region (Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 1999, volume 39, pages 325-334).
His economic analysis updates the first figures collected from Australian growers (Esbenshade and Wilson, 1986, Growing Carobs in Australia, Goddard & Dobson, Box Hill Victoria). Race identified that there are areas in that region where environmental characteristics (eg rainfall, soil type etc) are suitable; however, where low or unpredictable rainfall conditions are experienced, some irrigation will be necessary to achieve profitable orchard yields.
The potential to integrate carobs within farming systems has been substantially advanced by successful mechanical harvesting trials in the mid-1990s by the South Australian Department of Agriculture. Carobs Australia initiated the first carob variety trials in 2010 at three locations in Western Australia. It is also assessing the utility of limestone soil amendments to improve fertiliser responses from improved soil pH. Another project involves a trial in the orchard adjoining the Men of the Trees nursery in Perth to top-work mature trees and bud known carob varieties onto the new growth.
The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) funding began mid-year 2012 for the project started by Carobs Australia : Utilisation of Carob in Healthy Foods for a New Rural Manufacturing Industry. Further news and reports will be added here.
Contact Carobs Australia for more details