Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bumper durian crop expected July 2008

There are usually two durian crops a year in Peninsular Malayia, in about December and about July. However, last December the crop was very poor. Last night I came across a few durians for sale. I stopped to talk to the stall keeper. He told me his fruits are the last of a miserable crop that he had obtained from Johore. However, he said there will be a bumper harvest in July, because durians all over Peninsular Malaysia are now heavy with little fruits.

Durians take 3-4 months from flowering to fruiting, so the flowering must have occured in end March to early April 2008. A big flowering event in durians usually coincides with a 'gregarious flowering' event in the forests affecting all kinds of trees. Hence I expect a bumper crop of all kinds of forest fruits, and a feast for the animals of the forest in July to August. It has been many years since the last such event.

A bumper crop is not good news for durian farmers, because it means the price will be too low for them to make a profit, or even to pay for the fertilizers and for the labour to pick up the fruits.

7 comments:

LT Wong said...

That's good news for durian lovers, but as you said, not exactly welcomed news for the farmers.

I know that there are two durian peaks in a year so where is the supply of durians outside of the peak periods coming from? We see durians for sale throughout the year these days.

Dr Francis Ng said...

We do not know what is the cause of the two peaks, why some trees fruit 'out of season' and whether trees fruit twice a year or take turns. To find the answers we need a network of observers to pool observations together.

We could start with people posting information on where they have spotted durian trees bearing young fruits. With this information, we will be able to map the localities this season and compare against with weather records from diffferent parts of the country.

Dr Francis Ng said...

The first durians of the season have appeared in the market. My durian dealer says the fruits are ripening in Pahang first, with Johore and Perak somewhat behind. What news from other states?

Dr Francis Ng said...

A friend in Penang told me today that his durian orchard fruited last month (May) and it is now the tail end of the crop. He says his orchard normally fruits in May every year. That puts Penang ahead of the other states.

Dr Francis Ng said...

A friend coming back from Upper Perak has confirmed that there is a bumper durian crop there now. Durians are also ripening in Selangor

Dr Francis Ng said...

I was in Sarawak earlier this week and during a visit to a village in the interior, south of Kuching, near the Indonesian border, I saw durians in flower. I have been told there is only one season a year in Borneo and also Sumatra, so the two seasons in Peninsular Malaysia needs an explanation.

Dr Francis Ng said...

It's fruiting season in Peninsular Malaysia, with durians, mangosteens, langsats and rambutans on sale. The season has been on since mid July. Today I had some seedless mangosteens--fully formed and delicious fruits. Yes, seedless mangosteens are going to be the next big thing. Apart from fruit trees, many timber trees are fruiting. At the Forest Research Institute in Kepong, Selangor, kapur (Dryobalanops aromatica), keladan (Dryobalanops oblongifolia), sentang (Azadirachta excelsa, sengkawang ayer (Shorea sumatrana) and engkabang (Shorea macrophylla) fruits are dropping. The fruiting is not as heavy as could be, but it is not bad.