Home' The Loxton News : December 10th 2014 Contents The Loxton News, Wednesday, December 10, 2014 – 11
CALCULATED AVERAGE PRICES
In a world of information superhighways, massive
data repositories (residing in ‘the cloud’) and Google
churning out multiple answers on every imaginable
topic, it’s no surprise that most people take it for
granted that information and answers will be avail-
able on demand; and that is often the case.
The great majority trust the accuracy of the infor-
mation and reasonably expect it can be and will be
used fairly and honestly to guide decision-making in
almost every aspect of life.
Over the past decade or so, South Australian grape
growers have become accustomed to reading the data
published by the Phylloxera Board in July/August
each year, outlining the calculated average purchase
value (CAPV) of grapes purchased in the previous
vintage; by variety and by region.
Other states and regions have their own ways and
means of estimating similar average values but that’s
all these are, average values.
In SA these CAPVs are derived from data provided
by wineries in response to an annual survey. It is not
compulsory and in many cases the data submitted is
not the final price, including bonuses but rather, an
offer price or something similar.
Most growers are satisfied that the data is reason-
ably accurate and there is a general belief that it’s
good to be able to review one’s own achievements
relative to the average.
For many, it’s the only feedback they receive for
Well gone are the days of ‘post vintage’ presenta-
tions when growers might be told which wine their
There is growing concern however, that these pub-
lished average prices are being widely used as a basis
for setting the following years prices.
In conversations around the region between grow-
ers and wineries this year, in the lead up to the
announcement of indicative prices prior to December
15, there has been much reference to last year’s aver-
ages and suggestions that particular wineries have
paid above the odds compared to other wineries
with the strong implication that this year’s vineyard
inputs and achievements are not as relevant as last
Surely in 2015, vintage prices should be deter-
mined by many factors other than the calculated aver-
age prices others may have paid for grapes of similar
standard in previous vintages.
There is ample data available on the information
superhighways regarding what’s in stock, what’s been
produced in other countries, the impact of exchange
rates and FTAs.
There should and could be much more accurate
indicators in terms of forecast yields if stakeholders
really desire to improve the system. For an industry
as sophisticated as the wine industry, there must
be more modern day methods of developing price
signals that motivate and encourage, rather than ref-
erencing last year’s averages and what competitors
allegedly paid. We all know what that leads to.
Some growers are of the view that publishing
CAPVs is not helpful. It appears not to be encouraging
The crucial need for sustainability up and down
the value chain is often and earnestly spoken about.
Implementing the theory seems much more chal-
It might be time to have the conversation about
whether the industry would be better off reverting
to the practices of our grandparents, when growers
and winemakers would talk with each other about
their respective needs and capabilities, agree on a
few targets, shake hands and get on with producing
grapes and wine to meet the needs of each other and
the needs of wine consumers in good faith.
If you have a view on this topic, please contact
Riverland Wine by phone (8584 5816) or email
Chris Byrne (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that
the matter can be discussed at regional level and if
need be, with the phylloxera board and other industry
NOW IS THE TIME TO FOCUS ON IRRIGATION
Vines have now completed flowering and most
should have adequate canopies to ripen the crop load
that has been set.
Further canopy growth from this point is consid-
ered by some to be counterproductive because it
requires higher levels of inputs of water and fertiliser,
but also higher management inputs of trimming and
Irrigation management from this point on should
be targeted at allowing the vine crops to grow and
That means enough water to maintain photosyn-
thesis and enough transpiration to cope with warmer
For reds, that equates to just enough irrigation
to maintain vine function and protect it from heat
events, but not so much that it continues to grow
more canopies that need to be trimmed off. Tendrils
should be starting to drop from this point and grow-
ing tips should be stalling.
Some whites require slightly more soil water poten-
tial to continue cell division in berries, but the risk for
tighter bunches later on is that they may be at risk of
bunch rot, especially in sauvignon blanc.
Now is also the time to continue with your disease
monitoring and control options.
Before you next spray, take the time to walk through
your vineyard and get inside the canopies to have a
look for disease.
Find out if you need to adjust your program before
it is too late and bunches close. Controlling disease in
closed bunches is near impossible.
We are near the time when berries are becoming
resistant to disease, but this does not mean they magi-
cally throw off any disease that is already present,
it means they are resistant to new disease infection
from germinating spores.
Your best defences against most diseases is UV light
and airflow, so maintaining canopies with dappled
MDBA total stor-
age decreased by
113GL this week,
with the active stor-
age now 5653 GL (66
per cent capacity).
Reservoir, the stor-
age volume decreased by 39GL to
1930GL (64 per cent capacity).
On the Edward River system, the com-
bined inflow through the Edward and
Gulpa off-takes was around 1900ML/
day. Diversions into the Wakool Main
Canal have slowly increased this week
and have averaged around 600ML/day.
The flow downstream of Stevens Weir
remains close to channel capacity at
On the Goulburn River, the flow
at McCoys Bridge receded to around
1000ML/day and is forecast to hover
around 940ML/day until the end of
December under dry conditions. The
average monthly minimum flow for
December is 350ML/day at McCoys.
On the Darling River, total storage in
Menindee Lakes decreased by 11GL to
the current volume of 227GL (13 per
cent capacity). Releases at Weir 32 aver-
aged around 140ML/day and flows at
At Lake Victoria, the storage volume
decreased by 21GL to 542GL (80 per
The flow to South Australia is target-
ing 8800ML/day over the coming week
and currently remains above the normal
South Australian entitlement due to the
delivery of additional traded environ-
At the Lower Lakes, the five-day
average level for Lake Alexandrina is
0.70m AHD. Flow into the Coorong
through the Barrages is currently around
Berri 210EC units, Morgan 320,
Mannum 340, Milang 740.
week ending Wednesday, December 3
Citrus Australia - SA Regional Wrap
GUIDELINES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL
ASSURANCE IN HORTICULTURE
The notion of ‘clean’ and ‘green’
has been used successfully to market
Existing mandatory food safety pro-
grams clearly justify the ‘clean’ label.
Complemented by environmental man-
agement systems, industries’ ‘green’ cre-
dentials are also proven.
Horticulture Australia’s Horticulture for
Tomorrow program is responsible for the
development of resources and tools, cre-
ated specifically for growers to enhance
an environmental approach.
Horticulture for Tomorrow recent-
ly launched a revised edition of The
Guidelines for Environmental Assurance
in Australian Horticulture. This provides
a mechanism for growers to assess their
level of environmental credentials and
develop pathways for on-farm environ-
mental processes, prepare for a change-
able climate and remain competitive.
Beyond this, the guide provided an
excellent source of best management
practices useful for daily on farm inputs.
It provides specific techniques, opera-
tional practices and industry guidelines
for establishing, achieving and reviewing
best production methods and manage-
ment of resources within a business. The
main working chapters include:
• Soil and land management.
• Water management.
• Chemical management.
• Nutrient management.
• Biodiversity management.
• Waste management.
• Air management.
• Energy/greenhouse gas management.
The guidelines also provide informa-
tion on legislation requirements, potential
impact of climate change, risk assess-
ments, monitoring and recording options,
a review check list, references and further
The review check-list is a sound docu-
ment that identifies priority areas signifi-
cant to each input, allowing exploration of
Visit the website (horticultureforto-
ance-guidelines) (12.2 MB pdf) to down-
load the guidelines.
BIOSECURITY GATE SIGNS
Contact your packer to receive your
free biosecurity gate sign.
These signs are proudly sponsored by
Plant Health Australia, Biosecurity SA
PIRSA and CASAR.
REMINDER: AUSTRALIAN CITRUS TO
KOREA, CHINA AND THAILAND
Preparation of orchards intending on
registering for export to Korea, China and
Thailand (KCT) this coming season com-
mence in December.
All growers must implement an inte-
grated pest management (IPM) program.
Requirements from now until harvest
• Knowledge of the pests and diseases
of concern. Fullers rose weevil is the main
pest of concern for all markets.
• Monthly monitoring and recording
of the results for critical pests of concern
and other pests (pest must be listed on
records). Including the use of beat mats.
• Trees must be skirted at least 50cm
from the ground.
• Weed control and orchard hygiene
must be maintained.
• Evidence of biological or chemical
controls must be documented.
• All new orchards must be surveyed
to determine the status of FRW prior to
entering the program.
• Orchards with FRW history must
implement the FRW program: skirting and
weed control and trunk band spraying.
The Australian citrus protocols to
Korea, China and Thailand integrated pest
management and packing house controls
can be sourced from the website (citru-
saustralia.com.au) or your GLO.
Oil sprays are a key component of IMP
programs and play a vital role in the sup-
pression of mealy bug and ensuring red
scale is kept at nil to low levels for export
If not applied already, plan to do so
as soon as possible unless specifically
advised otherwise from a professional
The benefits and effects of a GA applica-
tion in December/January include:
• Reduction of the incidence of albe-
do breakdown (creasing) and delays its
• Enhances firmness of the rind.
• Improves fruit quality and extends
postharvest shelf-life by reducing fruit
susceptibility to moulds.
Summer GA sprays will not affect rind
colour at harvest if applied when the
majority of fruit are between 30mm and
50mm in size.
• pH 4.0 to 4.5. Re-check after mixing
well before application.
• Apply during the cool of the morning
or only after irrigation in the afternoon.
• Ensure good coverage and canopy
• Apply GA three to four weeks after an
• Application, timing and concentra-
tion of GA to extend the harvest will be
discussed in a few months’ time.
• GA Application timing based on
intended harvest dates or *albedo history:
see above table.
NUTRITION FOR DECEMBER
• 25 per cent of annual nitrogen should
have been applied in November after fruit
set and at the end of the vegetative growth
• Calcium nitrate is preferred to ammo-
nium nitrate and urea as these forms
of nitrogen compete with the uptake of
• 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 30-50 per cent annual potas-
sium after fruit reaches 10mm in size.
• Apply foliar micronutrient sprays
of magnesium, manganese and zinc as
• According to overseas experience,
foliar sprays of potassium phosphite or
MAP and potassium nitrate in November
improve fruit size.
Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium
Do not over stimulate trees during this
period, because any growth flush will
compete with the fruitlets and will result
in poor fruit set.
Just enough nutrients are needed to
maintain biological activity.
It is preferable to apply nitrogen (25
per cent) at the end of the vegetative
growth flush in November, especially if
trees are well fed with nitrogen in previ-
The rest of the nitrogen can be applied
in January. The ideal source of nitrogen at
this time of year is calcium nitrate, how-
ever other forms of nitrogen can be used.
Potassium (30 per cent) can be applied
after fruit set (10mm size). The rest of the
potassium should be applied in December
and at the end of January when it is
required for cell enlargement.
During this period calcium is important
to reduce albedo breakdown.
Nitrogen applications should be kept
to a minimum as it competes with the
uptake of calcium, especially the ammo-
nium nitrate and urea forms (which need
to be converted to ammonium).
Magnesium, nitrogen, phosphorous
and potassium all compete with the
uptake of calcium and the application
of these fertilisers should therefore be
closely related to leaf analysis and should
not be over supplied in the cell division
Weak trees or those showing yellow-
ing should receive a foliar application
of low biuret urea, zinc and manganese
Iron chelates may be needed especially
in calcareous and high pH soils or in very
growers have decided to
increase their national
levy investment to allow
for more research and
The proposed increase will
boost the R&D levy from
$1.97 per tonne to $3.20 per
tonne and the biosecurity cit-
rus levy from $0.03 per tonne
to $0.30 per tonne to make the
industry more competitive in
the Asian market.
The results of the industry’s
national levy poll revealed
the majority of voters sup-
port an increase in both the
Australia (HIA) citrus R&D
and the Plant Health Australia
biosecurity citrus levies.
Citrus Australia’s chief exec-
utive officer Judith Damiani
said the poll results signal an
“important new chapter” for
“For almost two decades,
the citrus industry has been
operating on the same level of
investment,” she said.
“Inflation alone has meant
the program investment has
“Once the increase has
been implemented, the addi-
tional funds will help the cit-
rus industry to access more
export markets; better manage
pests like fruit fly and protect
orchards from exotic pests.”
The vote is part of the
National Citrus Growers’ Levy
Citrus Australia will now be
required to complete a submis-
sion to the Federal Agriculture
Minister Barnaby Joyce to
seek his consideration of an
increase to the R&D and bios-
Ms Damiani said the minis-
ter is unlikely to consider the
request until later in 2015 after
the Senate review into agricul-
tural levies is complete.
“I look forward to working
through the implementation
process with the minister as
soon as possible,” she said.
“Critical research and bios-
ecurity programs are at risk
through extended delays,” she
Growers support levy rise
Local growers have decided to increase the
national investment for citrus research and
development after 16 years of the same rate.
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