Home' The Loxton News : November 12th 2014 Contents 8 -- The Loxton News, Wednesday, November 12, 2014
The Webster (American) dictionary defines pride as
"a lofty and often arrogant assumption of superiority in
some respect." The Collins (English) dictionary defines
it similarly as "too high an opinion of oneself, inordinate
self-esteem". Riverlanders tend to be bashful about
success; keen to avoid the limelight. Pride sits uncom-
fortably with most and yet it is one of the key words on
the front cover of the recently released Riverland Wine
publication Vineyard to the world.
As readers know, over the past 18 months, Riverland
Wine has joined with the Australian Grape and Wine
Authority (AGWA) to promote the region's vines, wines,
people and river-scapes to groups of international wine
writers, educators, buyers and sommeliers.
Two groups have recently spent time in the region,
meeting growers and winemakers, seeing real vineyards
and real wineries, tasting some of our outstanding wines
and being stunned at our scenery and landscape.
Without exception the most common sentiment
among the visitors is that of surprise. Surprise that the
region is such a major contributor to the Australian wine
industry; surprise that production standards are so high,
surprise at the passion of winegrowers and winemakers
for their vineyards, wines and technology; surprise at
the level of environmental sensitivity and wonder at the
unique and ancient river-scapes. They ask why these
features are such well hidden secrets.
Following is a brief excerpt of a note sent last fort-
night from Camilla Coste, the European events manager
for AGWA who recently led a group of visitors to the
region from the UK, Ireland, Finland, France, Poland
"Sorry it's taken me so long to send my thanks to
you. I wanted to take this opportunity to send you a
huge thank you and congratulations for organising and
hosting us in your wonderful region. The group and I
truly enjoyed our time in the Riverland and were over-
whelmed by the exceptional hospitality we received. It
was an eye-opener for me too and I am looking forward
to hopefully being able to send more guests to this part
of the world. I can speak on behalf of the group when I
tell you that everyone was so impressed with the wines
they tried and thoroughly enjoyed meeting the people
who make them. The commitment to the environment
and the sheer passion that was transmitted by our hosts
during our short trip was a direct example of what is
being done in the region to promote these changes.
The hospitality we received at Paringa House and the
brilliant flights on our last day were a standout for the
group. Everyone has gone back to their home countries
now, but I can tell you that our guests will have memo-
ries of this visit for a very long time."
Perhaps a little pride and self promotion could be a
Now is the time to...
Continue on with your protective spray program, pay-
ing particular attention to powdery mildew. Thorough
coverage and timing early in the season is critical in
preventing disease outbreaks later.
Many blocks are either flowering or finishing flow-
ering which means certain products are having WHP
restriction windows closing rapidly, especially botrytis
controls. If you had botrytis last vintage, spore carryover
into a new season is more likely, hence consider your
control options now before these windows close.
Also, keep an eye out for light brown apple moth
(LBAM) in developing bunches. Look for the little web
and curling structures that may indicate LBAM is pres-
ent.If enough of the pest is detected, it may warrant a
control. More information on LBAM is available on the
Australian Grape and Wine Authority website (http://
Water management must also be a focus, with growth
stages approaching fruit set. Renowned scientist and
educator Peter Dry, in his presentation and discussion
with Riverland growers earlier in the year, was very
forthright in co-relating increased fruit quality with
planned, measured, controlled levels of vine stress in the
immediate post fruit set period -- without significantly
compromising cropping levels.
A mild level of stress post fruit set helped the vines
switch their growth cycle from vegetative into fruit
development and ripening.
Consider the amount of water and nutrition applied
in terms of vine vigour. Why spend money growing a
massive canopy, only to spend more time and money
trimming it off a few weeks later?
AGWA management conducted a Regional Programme
Partners' Day last week in Adelaide.
Regional representatives from around the country
were invited to come together to witness some of the
high level services offered to our industry and to talk
with scientists about some of the latest grape and wine
research covering topics around flavour, colour, tannin
and low alcohol wine yeast development.
CSIRO's Peter Clingleffer, well known to many in the
Riverland from his days at Merbein, conducted a tasting
of four wines, all made from the same shiraz clone but
grown on different root stocks.
The differences between the four wines were remark-
able. Harley Smith, working in the area of nematode
resistance screening used the microscope to illustrate
just how destructive these tiny creatures can be in the
After seeing the work being undertaken in the labora-
tories, the group went to the vineyard to see some of the
robotic tools that progressive growers will be using in
the Riverland in the not too distant future.
The first of these was a ground-based, battery-pow-
ered, memory laden moon-lander device that drives
itself around the vineyard, mapping the terrain, estimat-
ing yields, identifying stronger and weaker patches and
storing it all for download and interpretation back at
This unit is well supported by a small drone, loaded
with a multispectral camera the flies over the vineyard,
also mapping the terrain, observing stronger and weak-
er patches and providing intelligence for the ground-
There's a good chance, if the RVTG speaks to the right
people, that part of next year's extension program will
be demonstration of some of these tools normally asso-
ciated with lunar landings and James Bond.
Stay tuned for further updates.
Total MDBA stor-
age reduced 105GL,
with the active stor-
age now 6039GL or
72 per cent capacity.
The vast majority of
active storage is cur-
rently held in Hume
and Dartmouth res-
ervoirs (92 per cent).
At Dartmouth Reservoir, the total volume
decreased 29GL to 3509GL (91 per cent
capacity). Releases measured at Colemans
are currently being reduced from 7000ML/
day to 3000ML/day by dropping release
rates 500ML/day. Releases are forecast to
remain steady at 3000ML/day next week
while works are undertaken in the Mitta
At Hume reservoir, the storage volume
fell 50GL to 2148GL (71 per cent capac-
ity) this week with releases averaging
around 15,000ML/day at Doctors Point.
Transferring water from headwater stor-
ages to Lake Victoria to meet summer
and autumn demands is currently driv-
ing much of system operations. Transfers
from Hume are continuing at maximum
rates making the most of spare channel
capacity before the peak summer irrigation
Yarrawonga releases continue at
10,300ML/day. After subtracting flows
through the Edward offtake of around
1600ML/day, the Gulpa offtake of around
350ML/day and losses in this reach of
river, the remaining flow equates to around
8000ML/day through Barmah.
Flow to South Australia increased to
10,000ML/day of SA entitlement, envi-
ronmental water to test the works on
the Chowilla floodplain and further envi-
ronmental water originating from the
Goulburn River and intended for the Lower
Lakes, Coorong and Murray Mouth.
Berri 230EC units, Waikerie 280,
Mannum 310, Milang 770.
River Murray Water Report
week ending Wednesday, November 5 Citrus Australia - SA Regional Wrap
Season Update -- November
Free online training:
As part of the Horticulture -- the
Next Generation Leadership Program,
Horticulture Australia is offering horti-
culture businesses the opportunity to
undertake a range of free online training
There are only 100 places available for
the nine courses on offer:
• Leadership development process.
• Team development process.
• Personal improvement process.
• Self confidence.
• Business improvement process.
• Sales performance.
• Continuous improvement process.
• Marketing and sales process.
Applications will close on November
30. To register visit the website
For further information, contact HAL
Project Leader Russell Cummings on 0414
929 585 or email (russell@horticulture-
Stage 1-November to December: Fruit
growth fruit cell division and physiologi-
cal fruit drop.
One of the most important factors
affecting fruit size is the crop load. Eighty
to ninety percent of potential fruit size
at harvest is determined by the end of
December. A heavy crop load will result
in small fruit at harvest. Assessment
of the crop load (fruit density counts
from January onwards) is essential to
determine what management inputs are
required to achieve the best fruit size.
How to measure crop load:
A counting frame is required (0.5m
x 0.5m square with invisible lines from
each side of the square into a point at the
trunk-left hand and forearm held upright
bent at elbow, right hand touch left elbow
= counting frame). The procedure is as
• Measure crop load when fruitlets are
10-15 mm in diameter;
• Place counting frame against the
canopy at a height of 1m to 2.5m from
the ground. Count two to three frames on
both sides of the tree (four to six frames
per tree). Repeat the frame counts in the
same area and height for 20 trees per
variety/rootstock combination or patch;
• Add up the number of fruits in each
frame count then divide by the number
of frames counted to get an average fruit
density count (fruit counts 800 x frames
80 = average fruit density of 10 fruit per
• Thinning should be considered if the
average fruit count is greater than about
eight to 10 fruitlets per frame for oranges,
or for imperial mandarins eight to 10
Various chemical thinning options are
available to correct alternate heavy and
light bearing crops such as Corasil, Ethrel,
Maxim, etc. For further information on the
different chemical control options please
contact your IDO as this will depend on
variety, crop load, climatic conditions, etc.
Hand thinning is the last management
tool available to manipulate crop load
and increase fruit size before harvest.
Once the fruit growth cycle passes from
cell division (October to December)
into cell expansion (January to May)
the cells inside the fruit stop dividing or
multiplying. Therefore the fruit has a pre-
determined final size as early as January
providing the trees are not stressed. For
the most effect on fruit size, hand thinning
should be done as early as possible.
Apply 25 per cent of annual nitrogen in
November after fruit set and at the end of
the vegetative growth flush.
Calcium nitrate is preferable to ammo-
nium nitrate and urea as these forms
of nitrogen compete with the uptake of
calcium potentially leading to albedo
If fertigating, apply the remaining
phosphorous (50 per cent) at monthly
intervals from October onwards.
Ensure adequate supply of calcium to
reduce albedo breakdown.
Apply 30 to 50 per cent of annual
potassium after fruit reaches 10mm in
Apply foliar micronutrient sprays as
Experience shows that foliar sprays of
potassium phosphite or MAP in November
will improve fruit size. Potassium nitrate
sprays should be applied at 1 to 3 per
For more citrus management infor-
mation visit the website (dpi.nsw.gov.
October to December is the critical time
to monitor pest activity and implement
control if thresholds are exceeded. IMP is
encouraged to maintain a balance of ben-
Light brown apple moth, kaydid, thrips
and mealy bug control should be imple-
mented if monitoring thresholds exceed
15 per cent and applied before calyx
Red Scale (and other soft scales):
November/December is the ideal peri-
od to release aphytis melinus to control
Red Scale. If monitoring thresholds exceed
10 to 15 per cent, summer oil should be
applied. Ensure to apply by December as
oil must be applied three to four weeks
before the coming summer GA applica-
tion. Navelinas should be targeted first.
Contact your service provider if intending
on using pesticides such as Movento.
Australian citrus to Korea, China and
Preparation of orchards for registration
for export to Korea, China and Thailand
(KCT) this coming season must commence
in December. All growers must implement
an Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
program. Requirements from now until
• Knowledge of the pests and diseases
of concern detailed in the DAFF work
plans for each importing country. (Packer
usually provides this information). Fullers
rose weevil is the main pest of concern for
• Monthly monitoring and recording of
the results for critical pests of concern and
other pests should be listed on records
(this includes the use of beat mats).
• Trees must be skirted at least 50cm
high and less than one in twenty trees in
contact with the ground.
• Weed control and orchard hygiene
must be maintained to prevent bridging
into the canopy.
• Applying in-field controls for pests of
quarantine concern should include docu-
mented evidence of biological or chemical
• A survey of all new orchards must
be done to determine the status of FRW
prior to entering the program. If FRW
is detected, the FRW program should
be implemented for all markets from
December until harvest.
The FRW program includes:
• Skirting and weed control.
• Trunk band spraying:
• Apply spray to the lower trunk in
December and again every 6 weeks until
• Karate®, Trojan®, and Matador® are
registered for lemons and oranges. For
mandarins and grapefruit, several carba-
ryl products are registered.
• Mix kaolin with sprays to improve
chemical persistence and to identify cov-
erage and spray drift.
• Apply 250ml spray solution to the
tree trunk at about 300mm from the
ground in a 100mm band.
• Spray diary must be retained and pre-
sented upon audit.
Where an orchard can demonstrate
that the orchard was free from FRW in the
previous season, trunk band spraying is
LHS leads the way
Loxton High School students
had great success at the Royal
Adelaide Show, scooping a range
of awards in the annual Led Steer
The event saw 20 Loxton High School
agriculture students travel to Adelaide
for the competition and students had
been busy in their recess and lunch
times during the term, preparing the
Agriculture teacher Justine Fogden said
she was "very pleased" with the results.
"We got a second in the Most
Professional Show Team, which was
great," she said. "The students are to be
congratulated on the way they worked
together as a team."
The award is judged throughout the
show and each school is marked on a
variety of factors.
"You get judged on how well your
cattle are prepared, what your students
know, how you keep your area clean and
the set up of your area and what it looks
like," Mrs Fogden said.
The students were involved in all
aspects, including weighing and scan-
ning the steers, the grand parade and
judging of the steers.
In addition, Loxton High School placed
first out of 55 for the Schools Export
Carcass Class with steer Roseleigh
Chas, which was donated by the Cowley
family in Pinnaroo.
Mrs Fogden said the students also
won a third in the heavy domestic steer
class and three fifths in the export steer
Bailey Heinrich was chosen to com-
pete in the Urrbrae Handler Award, after
impressing the judges with his leading
Loxton High School agriculture students Drew Kassulke (left) and Dylan Miller with their winning
steers at the Royal Adelaide Show.
-- photo supplied
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