Home' The Loxton News : September 3rd 2014 Contents The Loxton News, Wednesday, September 3, 2014 -- 11
MDBA active storage
reached a peak of 6366GL
during the week and is cur-
rently 6359GL (75 per cent
At Dartmouth Reservoir,
the storage volume increased
by 6GL to 3647 GL (95 per
cent capacity). Releases for
continued this week. The flow, measured at Colemans,
reduced at the start of the week from 3000ML/day to
At Hume Reservoir, the storage reached a peak of
2267GL early in the week and is currently 2237GL (74
per cent capacity). The release peaked at 15,800ML/
day during the week and is currently 15,000ML/day.
At Lake Mulwala diversions to Mulwala Canal and
Yarrawonga Main Channel increased to 5400ML/day
and 1700ML/day respectively. The release down-
stream of Yarrawonga Weir has been increased to
10,200ML/day (close to channel capacity of around
10,600ML/day) in order to meet downstream demand,
including the transfer of water from Hume Reservoir
to Lake Victoria.
The flow at Torrumbarry Weir reduced to a low of
around 2800ML/day late in the week, but will begin
rising again in the coming week to around 4500ML/
day. Flows through Gunbower forest are returning to
the Murray at Chinamens bend and contributing about
500ML/day. Downstream at Swan Hill, the flow is
forecast to fall to around 3400ML/day (0.8m local
gauge height) if conditions remain dry. However flow
rates will increase in the following week.
On the lower Darling River higher salinity levels
continued with values of 900 to 1000EC recorded
at Burtundy this week. Salinity levels are expected
to remain around this level for another week before
Lake Victoria is around 99 per cent storage capac-
ity and has risen 31GL this week. The lake will reach
effective full supply (that is at or above 99 per cent) in
the coming week to maximise the storage of unregu-
At Weir and Lock 8, the level is currently 40cm
above full supply level (FSL). The level will gradually
rise to 60cm above FSL in the coming week. This is
part of a trial to introduce variations in the weir pool
levels to achieve a more natural wetting and drying
cycle for the riverine environment.
Flow to South Australia continued to recede this
week and is currently 9500ML/day. Unregulated flow
periods continued this week from Wentworth to South
Australia but can be expected to cease in the coming
week when flows to South Australia reduce to entitle-
ment flows only.
At the Lower Lakes, the five-day average water level
at Lake Alexandrina reduced 7cm to 0.72m AHD. The
total barrage release reduced from 16,000ML/day to
Berri 170EC units, Morgan 260, Mannum 370,
Research centre progress
The empty offices at the Loxton Research Centre
are beginning to buzz again.
In September last year the State Government
announced plans to revive the once thriv-
ing centre and to refurbish and re-populate the
empty spaces and build additional capacity.
Plans for a new multi-function centre, including labo-
ratories, training facilities and meeting rooms, were
unveiled a couple of months ago.
The Management Reference Group, made up of
local primary producers and business people, has
been working with PIRSA management to ensure the
centre once again becomes a service centre for all
primary producers and affiliated businesses.
This week the PICSE GrowSmart team of Trevor
Noble, Ian White and Peter Brown has moved into the
centre and a number of training programs have been
Likewise local businessman Scott Gillett has relo-
cated his business Wisdom Data Mapping to the site.
“We join with PIRSA in welcoming the new tenants
to the centre,” said Riverland Wine’s executive officer
“These new businesses are both complementary to
our industry. We’ve already begun talking about how
we might be able to work together to devise projects
that will provide opportunities and benefit for wine-
growers in this region.”
New WGGA committee representative
Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA) has appoint-
ed Ben Rose as the new Greater Victoria and Tasmania
representative on the executive committee.
Mr Rose fills the vacancy left by the sad loss of Kym
Ludvigsen, who died in a farm accident in December
A viticultural consultant with Performance
Viticulture, Mr Rose grew up in the wine industry and
still has an active involvement in the family vineyard.
Lawrie Stanford, executive director of WGGA, noted
that Ben was very well qualified to represent the
greater Victorian and Tasmanian winegrape growing
“As a viticultural consultant for over 15 years, he
has expertise in a number of areas from economics
and business through to the technical dimensions of
viticulture,” Mr Stanford said.
The WGGA executive committee met in Mildura this
week and topics for discussion included:
• WGGA biosecurity program; Australian Wine
Industry Code of Conduct reforms.
• A program to make proven, safe and reliable agri-
cultural chemicals available to winegrape growers.
• The ongoing campaign to improve commercial
practices between growers and wine companies to
yield better results for the winegrape growing busi-
nesses and wine sector as a whole.
Farm business management skills
River Murray Training (RMT) will conduct work-
shops in the Riverland centred on farm business
The workshops are being piloted by Primary
Producers SA (PPSA), with support of PIRSA and fund-
ing by the Department of State Development. RMT
and PPSA are looking for industry groups and pri-
mary producer enterprises interested in taking part
in the workshops to be conducted in the Riverland.
The four-day program will focus on skills required
by farmers in businesses planning, performance anal-
ysis and managing risks, including: business planning,
business models and structure and reviewing busi-
The content can be tailored to the interests of the
participants. With exceptional circumstances funding
no longer an option for primary producers, the work-
shops will help farmers to forward plan and manage
risks to their business.
Workshops will be held in the Riverland starting in
September. Participants interested in more informa-
tion can contact Barb McPherson by calling 0417 824
442 or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Water, energy and adaptation
The South Australian Wine Industry Association
(SAWIA) will convene the seventh Australian Wine
Industry Environment Conference in Adelaide in late
The key message is ‘smart business through better
management of the environment’, which is critical
to the future sustainability of the wine industry in
The program will focus on three key areas:
• Water – strategic asset management, cost control,
regional solutions, future climate impacts.
• Energy – strategic supply and demand manage-
ment, tariffs and cost control, smart use of resources,
and operational efficiency.
• Adaptation – efficiency improvements, infrastruc-
ture management, and examples from vineyards and
wineries on immediate actions as well as longer
These key themes are all significant to future
business sustainability. Participants will learn about
future trends in environmental management and
meet leading decision makers in this area.
The preservation of the environment and natural
resources upon which the wine industry depends,
is an essential factor for sustaining the future of the
wine industry – from vineyards and wineries to global
Bookings and further information are available on
the SAWIA website (winesa.asn/au/awiec2014), by
calling 8222 9277 or email (email@example.com).
week ending Wednesday, August 27
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Gall Wasp is a serious concern across all major
citrus growing regions and there is much research
and extension work required to tackle this pest.
Citrus Australia, CASAR along with SARDI, The
Fruit Doctors and Biological Services are all work-
ing as a team with other interstate organisations on
a national Gall Wasp research project.
These collaborators are in the final stages of
applying for funding for a national research pro-
On behalf of the citrus industry we would like to
express our sincere thanks and appreciation to the
Arnold family for making their Pyap property avail-
able for this important workshop on the day.
We also want to thank all the presenters for shar-
ing their valuable knowledge and expertise with our
Citrus growers that were unable to attend the
gall wasp workshop on August 28 who would like to
receive the material that was presented on the day
should email Sam Rogers (sam.rogers@citrusaus-
tralia.com.au) or phone 0477 110 933.
Stuart Pettigrew was appointed as citrus biosecu-
rity manager last year, with his key focus being on
the most serious biosecurity threat to the Australian
citrus industry, namely citrus greening or HLB.
Earlier in the year Stuart, along with govern-
ment biosecurity department representatives,
travelled to the United States to determine the
affect this disease has had on the citrus industry
of the USA, the cost of control/eradication and
whether any control measures are in place to
eradicate the disease.
CASAR met with Stuart Pettigrew in the Riverland
recently to get an update on this important visit.
The trip involved a lot of work with the United
States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on how
they are tackling HLB in their affected regions.
The following facts stated by Stuart are extremely
• Florida and now Texas are struggling with this
insidious disease and could be out of business in
the next few years if a cure is not found soon. Juice
processing companies in Florida are closing down
resulting in huge job losses.
• Up to $10 billion has been spent by government
and industry in the USA with no real major inroads
in how to control or eradicate this threat.
• HLB is a complicated disease with two major
components required to infect a citrus tree. Firstly
the actual bacteria which is lethal to the tree fol-
lowed by the ‘vector’ to be able to transmit the
disease. In this case the vector is the Asian citrus
psyllid, which is a small winged insect that can
harbour the bacteria and spread it from tree to tree
Industry and researchers are very concerned that
whilst the psyllid has not been detected in Australia
the psyllid and disease are endemic in Papua New
Guinea which poses a real threat to the Australian
The Australian citrus industry is currently work-
ing on proactive response and abatement plans for
this very serious disease threat to our country.
Equally important is that industry is talking to
government about the huge risk of HLB entering
Australia and how important our biosecurity mea-
sures are on our borders to keep this disease out.
Unfortunately, despite all of the hard work being
done by government, the citrus industry can still
be compromised by thoughtless acts of individuals
who bring illegal plant material into the country.
Last year a traveller attempting to bring illegal
plant matter into our country at the Melbourne air-
port had it confiscated. This material was found to
be infected with Asian psyllid and destroyed.
Farm Finance Concessional Loans Scheme
The Australian Government has committed $25
million for each of the next two years from 2013-14
(total $50 million) to provide assistance to eligible
South Australian farm businesses by way of conces-
sional loans, for debt restructuring of existing debt.
The scheme aims to assist farm businesses that
are experiencing difficulty in servicing debt but
have good long-term prospects of returning to com-
Evidence of financial difficulty may include recur-
ring trading losses in recent years resulting in
increased borrowings. The second application peri-
od opened on July 1, 2014 and will close on March
31, 2015 or when funds have been fully allocated,
whichever occurs first.
For further information regarding the
Concessional Loan Scheme contact PIRSA,
Prudential & Rural Financial Services (free call
1800 182 235).
Rural Business Support (Rural Financial
Counselling Service SA) provides a free, indepen-
dent and confidential business information and
support service to farmers, and may be able to
assist with completion of the application. Free call
on 1800 836 211.
CASAR is in the final stages of organising this
year’s citrus display at the 175th birthday of The
Royal Adelaide Show.
CASAR has made its presence bigger and bet-
ter by working with other organisations, such as
Destination Riverland, to promote our citrus indus-
try as well as the Riverland.
A major highlight at this year’s event is the draw-
ing of the major prize winners of our ‘Buy a local
orange’ campaign on the main stage on Friday,
September 12. First prize is a new car and second
prize two nights’ accommodation at the world
class Riverland destination, The Frames, very kindly
donated by Rick and Cathy Edmonds.
Want a free ticket to the show? We still have
time slots available on the citrus stand to Meet the
Grower, the Yellow Brick Road and the Premium
Food and Wine Trail. Anyone interested in volun-
teering who would like to be part of promoting
South Australian citrus please contact the CASAR
committee at the addresses below.
Nominations to CASAR
September will mark two years since the forma-
tion of CASAR.
In accordance with the nomination process, posi-
tions on CASAR are for a four-year period, with half
retiring every two years.
The nomination forms along with an explana-
tory document on the process of nomination for
interested people will be available from the Citrus
Australia website from Monday, September 1, and
will close on Friday, September 26.
If you have questions about anything in this
week’s column, or an issue that you would like
discussed, please contact the chairman Con Poulos
(firstname.lastname@example.org) or Sam Rogers
With bud burst
commencing in local
wine grape vineyards,
locals have been warned
to reduce spray drift.
The Wine Grape Council
of SA (WGCSA) has asked
broadacre farmers, contract
sprayers, local councils and
other users of phenoxy her-
bicides for weed control be
mindful of their potential
damage to wine grapes and
other horticulture crops.
Chairman Simon Berry
said if phenoxy herbicide
drifts into a vineyard and
green tissue is exposed it can
stunt, distort or kill growth.
"Grape growers that have
damaged vineyards face
yield loss, fruit downgrad-
ing, lower prices and even
rejection of grapes for sale,"
"In our view, the long term
goal should be to secure
agreement for the replace-
ment of these herbicides
with alternatives and prac-
tices adopted by all agri-
chemical users that sees no
The economic impact can
be even greater for biody-
namic and organic vineyards
where contamination can see
loss of certification for a
number of years.
Mr Berry believes that
cooperation between broad
acre and horticulturists is the
way forward and acknowl-
edges that vineyard owners,
staff and contractors need to
show equal care when spray-
Mr Berry said while the
WGCSA recognises that the
use of phenoxy herbicides is
an "important aid" to weed
management, he acknowl-
edged that vineyard owners,
staff and contractors need to
show equal care when spray-
The Code of Practice
for Summer Weed Control
advises to spray during the
day when wind is between
3km/h and 15km/h as mea-
sured at the application site
-- a mandatory label instruc-
tion for 2,4-D -- and there
is no surface temperature
Other measures including
slow tractor speeds -- less
than 18km/h -- setting for
very coarse droplets and
adding adjuvants, which
reduce drift and lift spray
Spray reminder A date has been set for
this year's Brown's Well
The event, which will be run
under the banner of Mallee
Sustainable Farming, will be
held in October.
"Last year we circulated a
date for this year of Tuesday,
October 14," said organiser John
"However, the Browns Well
Centenary of Towns celebration
weekend is only a couple of days
before and a lot of locals will be
involved with the organisation
and cleaning up from this.
"With this in mind, and as the
season doesn't appear it will be
quite as early as last year, we
have set a new date of Tuesday,
Mr Gladigau said further
details would be released closer
to the day.
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