The Granite Belt region hosts everything from small hobby plots to extremely large commercial operations being planted this year of over 10,000 trees,

Truffles are traditionally located underground with the use of pigs, however now dogs were being trained to assist farmers during the season, from June to August.

“The location of these farms is a closely guarded secret due to biosecruity and theft reasons as the truffles now fetch up to $3 a gram,” he said.   The average size of a truffle located this year has been around 70 grams, putting its value into the hundreds of dollars.

The increasing use of dogs has meant Stanthorpe-based Lawdogs Australia, the first privately owned specialist dog training kennel which is open to the public, had shifted focus from dog training to truffle detection.  “Three dogs have now graduated and work either permanently on a farm or on a contract basis,” he said.