This page has information for commercial date palm growers in the Northern Territory (NT).
Dates are grown commercially in Central Australia where there is a long, hot growing season and low humidity.
A slow growing crop, date palms can grow to 20m tall and live for 100 years.
The most common commercial varieties are Medjool, Barhee and Deglet Noor.
The date palm has separate male and female plants (dioecious).
Dates are a labour intensive crop. Pollen must be harvested from the male flowers to hand pollinate the female flowers.
For more information read the date palm Agnote .
Pest and disease management
Date palms grown in hot dry areas, such as Alice Springs, are largely free of pests and diseases.
Parlatoria scale is a major pest in many parts of Australia and can attack date palms. It reduces plant growth and yield, and may downgrade fruit quality.
To help control the pest you should prune and trim the palms and carry out two annual rounds of insecticidal spray.
Visit the Northern Territory Insects Database to identify an insect pest and the damage it can cause.
Search the online publications library to find the results of research regarding dates.
For general horticulture advice and information, read general advice for fruit and vegetable growers.
For information about the industry go to the NT Farmers website.
Last updated: 10 March 2016