February 14, 2024

Every quarter we share a newsletter with everyone in the WelMac circle, to keep everyone up to date on the most recent developments within the company and the macadamia industry.

Dear Welmac circle,

Having finally gotten back to my energy levels from before my treatments and fully recovered from my surgeries the previous year, I was thrilled to head back to South Africa again for the first time in a year and a half. The last time I visited we had just started with some of our regenerative practises, like cover-cropping. I was very exited to see the results as well as the growth in the trees of our newer blocks and the harvest that would be hanging in the trees. Of course we have been in regular contact but nothing beats walking through the orchards, smelling and feeling the trees and talking to all our staff face to face in stead of through a computer screen.

Arriving at the farm I immediately realised how much I missed this part of my job, the stunning scenery and the activity everywhere is very energising, but most present was the sense of pride I felt in how the farm has developed since my last visit. To see how everyone has moved forward with this new mindset towards regenerative agriculture, how the farm has changed and the amount of wildlife that has returned, is the most rewarding experience in my career. I want to take this opportunity to compliment all of our team on Welgevonden for their achievement, we are setting a new standard for commercial macadamia farming!

We have seen incredible results from these practises we have been applying, that go far beyond what we initially hoped for. It’s amazing to see how all things in nature are connected and the restorative power it has! The trees are healthier than ever, which we see in the decreasing need for fertiliser and pest control. The quality of the soil is increasing and more water retaining, which we see in lower levels of water in the natural dams, despite more frequent rain. Also the amount of water needed, mostly on the younger trees, has decreased significantly. The quality and volume of nuts is increasing while the amounts of input are going down. We see wildlife returning in all kinds of shapes and sizes, from bugs to birds and feline species. I can go on for a while but in this sense a picture says more than 1000 words! I will be posting pictures and videos regularly across our Instagram and Facebook pages, we made some really fun footage of the orchards and some educational videos of Trichardt (our farm manager) and myself explaining a lot of things. So I would suggest to head over there to have a look and keep an eye on it over the next few weeks!

As usual we hope you enjoy the read!

Start of harvest time

It is with a lot of excitement that we await the start of the 2024 harvest which will commence mid-February. We are in the process of cleaning up the orchards by removing any nuts that have dropped from the trees as a result of pest damage. We are also cutting the grass short to allow the harvesting teams to clearly see the nuts that are on the ground.

Grass gets cut short by the sideway mulcher


Welgevonden is based in the summer rainfall region of South Africa which starts in September and the rainfall for 2023/2024 is in line with the rainfall of the 2022/2023 season which was in line with the long-term average.

The table below compares the data of 2022/23 with 2023/24:

We are optimistic that the rainfall season will end close to 800+mm which is good. We added the average windspeed data as an interesting aspect as it shows that the farm has a constant wind of 4km/h throughout the year.

The thick ground cover from all the grass ensured that all the rainwater remained in the orchards which penetrated the soil instead of flowing away.

Macadamia production

The main focus of the summer production period is pest and disease control and plant nutrition.

Pest and disease control:

We are in an ongoing process to reduce the usage of synthetic pest and disease control and we firmly believe that we will end the 2023/2024 season with 80+% biological pest and disease control.
Our biggest threats in the fourth quarter are moth and stinkbug control. With the transition we have already made towards biological control is is clear that the high levels of beneficial insect and the tree health improved the resistance in the orchards against threats.
Below are two links to the biological products that we are using with great success taking budget into account as well.

  • Moth – virus ( https://riverbioscience.co.za/products-2/max-range/multimax/ )
  • Stinkbug – fungi ( https://realipm.co.za/project/real-metarhizium/ )

Plant nutrition

In the previous newsletter we attached a report from our plant nutritionist, Hantie Reed that commended the practises followed on Welgevonden and we expected an improvement in our soil Ph.
Soil samples we had done in the fourth quarter of 2023 and there was a clear improvement in soil ph in all the orchards. The improvement went from levels of 3.7 to 6 in the period of February 2023 to October 2023 which is unheard of in the agriculture. This process normally takes 18 – 24 months.

The results are driven by the regenerative practises followed on the farm and the improvement of soil health since 2021.
Part of this program is to cut down on fertiliser dependency and the outlook for 2024 is a further reduction in total fertiliser costs of an estimated 20+%. Keep in mind that this saving is significant since we have young trees reaching maturity which requires more fertiliser.

Natural ground cover

As part of the regenerative practise, we allowed the natural ground covers to grow and shoot seed to multiply and from the photos it is clear that we have a well-established natural ground cover.
This consists of a variety of plants from creepers to hardwood and normal grass who all has various levels of root systems that penetrates the soil on various depth levels.
We learned from this process that is more costs effective to allow natural, perennial grass to establish in the orchards compared to planting a variety of cover crops that requires constant management due to the different types of plants.

The photos below clearly illustrate the thick grass which is mulched back to the tree line where it will break down into compost which assist with nutrient supply for the trees.

Harvest expectations

Harvesting will commence middle February and based on the nut set we are expecting a good harvest with a yield inline with longterm averages on the mature trees and the youngs trees are expected to increase in volume are they reach maturity.

Macadamia prices are improving from the 2022 and 2023 levels and we will know the prices for 2024 in the coming weeks. Welmac is also in the process of registering the name Welmac as a trademark as part of our strategy to enter the marketing arena for our own products as well.


Luc van Dijkman is a third year student from the HAS University in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. Luc is doing his internship here at Welgevonden and will assist with research relating to:

  • Marketing and branding of macadamia.
  • Consumer awareness.
  • Market opertunities.
  • Product development.
  • Regenerative production.

We are looking forward to Luc’s input on Welgevonden.

Food Forest update

After a good rainy season, the food forest is slowly reaching its way to a “forest” with some bananas reaching around 1,5 m many flowers in blossom, ground cover slowly taking the floor.

Growth of unwanted plants has been vigorous, weed control has been a big focus. Over time the intended plants will have developed well enough to keep back the weeds and control the system. until then it’s up to manual weeding and constant mulching to cover the soil and prevent this weed growth.

Albasini Nursery

We have started with 20 seedling trays with a combination for green peppers, cabbage, and Swiss chard. This will be for use in our own vegetable garden and a small bit for sale, we are very pleased with the results that we are seeing with this batch, the seedlings growth was very consistent and uniform. We will now start focusing on promoting seedlings for commercial sales with examples for customers to see. Giving customers the option to place orders on larger batches of vegetable seedlings.

Employee interview: Innocent Mukono

Innocent Mukono - Irrigation Team Leader

Tell us about yourself?
My name is Innocent Mukono and I have been employed at Welmac since the beginning. I am a 37-year-old husband and father of 2 beautiful children and live in Valdezia.

What do you do at Welmac?
I am an Irrigation Team leader on the farm. I motivate other workers to work hard and I make sure that we reach our daily target.

What do you like / dislike on the farm?

Like: I like my farm to develop, so it will help many people outside who doesn’t have jobs. I would like to gain more experience and learn more from my foreman so that one day I will be like the and am able to run the farm.
Dislike: I dislike the loss of anything in the farm.

What would you improve if money was not an issue:
I would continue working hard to gain more experience so that I can start my own business.

Recipe: Macadamia balls

A favourite amongst children and adults alike! A healthy snack full of nutrients.


  • 1 cup macadamia nut butter
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 freeze dried cranberries
  • 1/3 macadamia nuts (whole or pieces)

    *Add water as needed for consistency.


  1. Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until they form a cohesive mixture, with the ingredients starting to adhere together.
  2. If the mixture appears too crumbly, gradually incorporate a small amount of water until the desired consistency is achieved.
  3. Shape the mixture into your preferred size of balls.
  4. To firm them up, refrigerate the balls for approximately 30 minutes. Enjoy!

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