Home' The Loxton News : August 27th 2014 Contents 8 -- The Loxton News, Wednesday, August 27, 2014
2014 Harvest Data
The Phylloxera and Grape Industry
Board of SA recently published the
results of the 2014 Winegrape Crush
As expected, the survey revealed
an alarming decline in the price paid
for grapes of $57 per tonne average
(17 per cent) across all varieties.
When expressed as average
income per hectare, the decline was
restricted to 7 per cent because of the
increased regional crush, up 10 per
cent to 436,000 tonnes.
Despite unsustainable returns for
the majority of businesses, wine-
growers still generated $127 million
of regional income.
This does not include any value-
add for wine production and pack-
The Riverland vineyard footprint
has remained reasonably stable for
more than 10 years at just less than
The number of registered vine-
yards in the region has declined by
29 over the past 12 months. The table
shown provides summary data from
the past 15 vintages.
It is important to note that aver-
ages can be misleading.
For instance, the table indicates
the average size of Riverland vine-
yards is just over 20 hectares.
This is deceptive in the light of the
very high proportion of vineyards in
the less than 10 hectare category.
The 10-year rolling average region-
al winegrape income (2000-09) was
$205 million per annum.
This number has diminished to
$149 million per annum for the 10
That represents an estimated
decline in regional income to wine-
growers of $550 million (total) over
Riverland Wine is working with the
Phylloxera Board and other industry
agencies to improve the timeliness,
content and accuracy of these sur-
TERM THREE, WEEK FIVE
On Monday we went down to the river to measure the
turbidity and salinity of the water.
The salinity was 110ECU, which is 120ECU lower than
last week's reading. It is surprising that it dropped so much
in one week.
The turbidity this week was 40NTU, which is 20NTU higher
than last week's reading. This means there was less water
in the turbidity tube and more dirt in the water.
The birds we saw were pelicans, purple swamp hens and
a whistling kite, a whistling kite nest and a willy wag tail.
We also saw human tracks, dog tracks, purple swamp hen
tracks and bike tracks. by Caden and Brooke, year 3
Reservoir, the stor-
age volume decreased
by 1GL this week to
3641GL (94 per cent
This decrease was a
result of modest inflows
and increased releases at
The average mini-
mum release required
from Dartmouth Reservoir varies between 200 and
500ML/day depending on storage levels.
At the beginning of the week Hume Dam releases
were at the minimum of 600ML/day to conserve water
in upper Murray storage.
Release was increased on Sunday from the mini-
mum -- for the first time since June 5, 2014 -- to
Demands increased steadily this week as the irri-
gation season at major irrigation areas commenced.
At Lake Mulwala diversions to Mulwala Canal and
Yarrawonga Main Channel increased to 3000ML/day
and 1500ML/day respectively and are expected to rise
further next week.
This week, as tributary flows have receded,
Yarrawonga releases have been gradually reduced to
4500ML/day to match downstream demand.
The flow at Torrumbarry Weir is receding and is fore-
cast to be under 3000ML/day. Flows from Gunbower
forest are entering the Murray at Chinamens bend and
contributing about 400ML/day. The flow at Swan Hill
will be lower in a week, possibly under 4000ML/day,
if conditions remain dry.
Flows in the lower reaches of the Murray are higher
as the peak which passed Euston two weeks ago,
recedes away. Flows at Mildura, Wentworth and the
South Australia border are all receding and will con-
tinue to do so without further rainfall.
Unregulated flow periods continued this week from
the Murrumbidgee Junction to South Australia and
can be expected to soon cease when flows to South
Australia reduce to entitlement flows only.
On the lower Darling River high salinity levels are
persisting with levels of 1000EC forecast for Burtundy
Lake Victoria is around 95 per cent storage capacity
and has risen 33GL this week.
The lake will be filled to maximise the storage of
unregulated flows. However, filling will take place as
late as is possible -- most likely early in September -- to
support stabilisation of the lake foreshore for cultural
Berri 200EC units, Waikerie 230, Morgan 260,
Mannum 330, Milang 750.
week ending Wednesday, August 20
Andr w D ck
Ema ad ck @ mn a.n t.au
V s t ur w s t www. mn a.c m.au
Another tight season in grapes?
As we come towards the end of pruning season, it is
not long and it will be time to be growing the next crop.
Given that it is likely to be another tight season in terms
of grape prices, how do you ensure that you maximize
yield and minimize inputs?
Correct choices critical
Some of the leading growers treat their soil like a bank
account. They take considerable note of the nutrients
deposited in the soil over the course of the season
ensuring they will have their "soil bank" ready for a
withdrawal when and if needed. Soil testing is like
analyzing your bank statement so you know what is
held in your soil bank, and is best done each year. It
is not too late to take a test if you haven t done so over
the winter, so you can then address the most limiting
Efficiency is important
Once you have a balanced fert program, incorporating
biological products can significantly enhance the
effect of fertilizers. The most important of these for soil
application are humates. Humate is the active part of
the organic carbon cycle in the soil. This is important
because our Riverland soils are naturally low in organic
carbon due to our climate & supplementing the soil
with humate makes sense. Humate will improve the
efficiency of applied nutrients, stimulate beneficial soil
biology, increase root mass and help to maintain soil
structure. These effects have been demonstrated in
numerous scientific trials worldwide. Improving these
aspects of soil health leads to increased yield when
used in conjunction with a suitable nutrition program.
Are all humates the same?
Beware, not every black gooey liquid contains humate!
In fact, many products on the market contain less than
12% humate. I prefer to work with K Humate, which
has been manufactured here in Australia for over 20
years. As a world leading product, it is independently
guaranteed to contain the 26% potassium humate
stated. K Humate will help make the most of your
soil resources. A well selected chemical fert program
combined with K Humate will help ensure good returns
for your efforts....
RIVERLAND WINE -- INDUSTRY INDICATORS 2000 - 2014
by Ian Turner
After returning from the
where they sold five rams to
$4250 and averaged $2700,
the Ridgway family staged
a very impressive offering
of poll merino rams at
their on-property sale at
Kulkami this month.
There was evenness in quality
of the 128 rams they offered in
their main auction. The 13 to 14
month old rams had outstand-
ing growth for age, were plain
bodied and carried excellent free
growing wools with great defini-
tion and density.
They were backed up by full
ASBVs for wool and carcase
These qualities were well
appreciated by the prospec-
tive buyers in attendance and
although there were less reg-
istrations than in the last few
years, the ones who were there
were active in their bidding.
Twenty nine buyers from
three states were successful in
purchasing from one to 15 rams,
and collectively they purchased
114 of the main auction rams,
plus eight from the mini auction
Thirteen more rams sold,
but the top price of $3600 was
down $400 on last year's $4000
top. The average of $1214 was
$90 less, but the middle ground
bidding to buyer budgets was
very solid. Fifty percent of the
rams sold in the $1000 to $1900
range, while only 11 sold from
$2000 or better.
Brett Woods, of Trundle,
proved the adage that lot one is
often the cheapest. He bid $2800
for R129, a son of R1137.
The top price came seven
lots later when Brian Martin
and Wayne Sheriff, of McLaren
Vale, bid the $3600 to secure
Ridgway 27, a superb son of
R29 with wool figures of 18.9
micron, SD of 2.8, 14.8 CV and
99.9 comfort factor.
It was +22 for yearling clean
fleece weight and when com-
bined with good carcass figures,
its multi-purpose (DP) index was
an impressive 160, the second
highest in the catalogue. They
will use the ram to breed flock
rams for their Keith property.
The strength of the middle
ground was on the back of sup-
port from seven volume buyers
who collectively purchased 73
rams, or 64 per cent of the main
Eight rams sold in the mini
auction to $700 and averaged
$544. Other key buyers included
NF and J Loechel, (three to
$2700), Glen Hampel, of Loxton
(three to $2900), and RL and C
Micken, from Coonalpyn (three
Ridgway auction shows the way
ram at the
Mallee farming field day
Weed management will be a hot
topic at the Mallee Sustainable
Farming's (MSF) field day in
Karoonda next week.
Michael Moodie, who is in charge
of organising next Thursday's field
day, said MSF trials at the site have
shifted focus from improving water
Now research is looking to improve
the profitability of farming systems
where stubble is retained.
"Weed management, in particular
brome grass, has been identified by
farmers and advisors from across the
Mallee as an issue that needs to be
focused on," Mr Moodie said.
The field day will be held on
Thursday, September 4, from 10am
to 3.30pm at Peter and Hanna Loller's
For more information, visit the web-
To RSVP for the free field day,
email (email@example.com) or call
(03) 5021 9100.
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