Home' The Loxton News : December 24th 2014 Contents 8 –The Loxton News, Wednesday, December 24, 2014
112GL this week,
with the active stor-
age now 5525GL
(66 per cent capac-
ity). At Dartmouth
storage volume has decreased 41GL to
3306GL (86 per cent capacity).
On the Goulburn River, the flow at
McCoys Bridge is steady at 950ML/day.
This is above the average monthly mini-
mum flow for December of 350ML/day
due to the delivery of Inter-Valley Trade
(IVT) water. At Torrumbarry Weir, diver-
sions at National Channel temporarily
lowered to 1400ML/day before increas-
ing back to 2200ML/day.
On the lower Murrumbidgee River,
flow at Balranald is steady at 1500ML/
day. This is above the normal December
end of system target of 254ML/day
due to the delivery of IVT water to the
On the Darling River, total storage in
Menindee Lakes decreased by 16GL to
the current volume of 203GL (12 per
At Lake Victoria, the storage volume
decreased 3GL to 548GL (81 per cent
capacity). The flow to South Australia is
targeting 8000ML/day, which is above
the normal South Australian entitlement
due to the delivery of additional trad-
ed environmental water. At the Lower
Lakes, the five-day average level for Lake
Alexandrina is 0.69m AHD. Release into
the Coorong through the Barrages is
continuing to target 2000ML/day.
Berri 200EC units, Morgan 260,
Mannum 360, Milang 760.
STICKING YOUR NECK OUT
It’s tempting and sometimes comforting
to point out the failings of others when
things are not working. Interesting too,
how the opposite is not so true when
times are better.
Thankfully there are those, bold enough
to put their hands up and say, ‘I’ll stick my
neck out... I’ll have a go and help to change
There is little doubt, the challenges we
face as an industry can be traced back to
poor policy settings in most cases.
Those who ‘stick their necks out’ are
having a crack at convincing each other
and then other industry leaders and some-
times politicians, that those policy settings
must be altered for the common good.
Policy can be at the regional, state or
federal level. By way of example, the policy
that provided for accelerated depreciation
of new vineyards was the single policy
most responsible for the sustained struc-
tural imbalance that has plagued all of us
for the best part of a decade.
Its repeal took five years too long
because industry did not work together
to measure plantings growth, relative to
sales demand and develop a more coher-
But that’s water under the bridge.
There are new challenges for those pre-
pared to stick their necks out. Uncertainty
around tax policy is threatening similar
long-term impacts. Policy around water
buyback in this region is troubling for
Over the next few months, this column
will profile some of those who stuck their
necks out to make a difference.
If you have an idea that you think will
make a difference, stick your neck out
and say so. (phone 8584 6399 or email
These profiles will not simply feature
well-known regional identities, but many
of those who work solidly in the back-
ground to make a difference. You could be
one of them.
PHYLLOXERA BOARD – ONLINE GRAPE
Growers may not be aware that there is
an online mapping record of all vineyard
patches throughout the state.
This database is managed by the
Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of
SA (PGIBSA). Its primary purpose is to
maintain a register of all South Australian
vineyards and to facilitate the manage-
ment of biosecurity processes in the event
of an outbreak of disease or pests. This
data is secure and confidential.
There are however, other potential ben-
efits arising from this technology. One
of the perennial challenges this industry
faces is knowing accurately the total area
of vineyards in the state and very impor-
tantly the total by variety in each region.
This has implications for supply and
demand and decisions being made by
winegrowers and winemakers. There is
an old saying: ‘If you can’t measure it, you
can’t manage it.’
PGIBSA is to be congratulated for the
recent enhancements made to this tech-
nology, particularly the development of
the online kiosk. All growers can access
images and information about their own
enterprise with a few key strokes.
Take the time to log on and explore the
vices/grape-industry-kiosk) for informa-
tion. Follow the prompts, create a pass-
word and check out your vineyard, if need
be. You can even update the information
to reflect any removals, top workings,
replacements or additional plantings.
Additional information and instruction is
also available on the PGIBSA website or by
contacting PGIBSA on 8362 0499.
IS YOUR IRRIGATION
With the hot season almost here,
it is time to once again make sure
that irrigation systems are working.
It was of interest that a recently adver-
tised irrigation information session failed
to attract enough interest to justify being
There may be reasons for this, such as
growers being busy doing other important
work, or maybe everyone has been well
skilled in the art of irrigation maintenance
from the excellent programs that NRM
and PIRSA have been involved in over
It is interesting, however, how often
stories of poorly maintained irrigation
systems seem to crop up.
Several viticulture advisers in the region
regularly report finding such problems.
For example, did you know that a 20mm
drip line with a 1mm layer of algae or clay
deposit around the internal wall has a
reduction in diameter of 20 per cent from
its design diameter?
Clearly, this will have major implications
when trying to irrigate during heat waves
or hot spells and keep plants hydrated.
Systems that have not been regularly
maintained may not be operating at their
design output, and so while a grower may
believe they are irrigating enough, this
may not be the case.
Crop yield and quality loss may occur
as a result. It is a good idea to check that
irrigation systems are operating at design
pressure before the hot weather starts in
IN THE NEWS
Congratulations to Eric Semmler and
Ashley Ratcliff who were both named in
the December 2014/January 2015 issue
of Wine Business Magazine Stars of 2014.
Riverland Wine has some copies available
to give away.
If you would like a copy of the maga-
zines please contact our office by phone
8584 5816 or email (admin@riverland-
COMPLIMENTS OF THE SEASON
Riverland Wine wishes everyone peace
and happiness at Christmas and through-
out the New Year. Our office will be closed
from Monday, December 22, reopening on
Monday, January 5, 2015.
week ending Wednesday, December 17
Citrus Australia - SA Regional Wrap
CITRUS TARIFF CUTS SWEETEN SOUTH KOREAN
Australian orange growers could significantly expand
their export opportunities in South Korea after tariff
cuts were passed as a result of the Korea Australia Free
Trade Agreement (KAFTA).
The reductions will see tariffs on oranges drop from
50 to 30 per cent with a further 5 per cent reduction to
take effect on January 1 next year.
The tariff will be eliminated entirely over a seven-
Citrus Australia CEO Judith Damiani said the reduc-
tion in tariffs will give Australian citrus exporters a
jump on their competitors going into the 2015 season.
“Trade to South Korea has been erratic in the past 10
years, with exporters having faced serious competitive
pressures from other trading nations such as South
Africa and Chile,” Ms Damiani said.
“The tariff reduction means we can offer a more com-
petitive price point which will help expand Australia’s
trade into South Korea. It’s really important that our
industry – particularly our exporters – take a fresh look
at the opportunities in South Korea now that tariffs have
reduced.” She added that South Korea has a sophisti-
cated retail sector, with supermarkets offering their
consumers high end quality products.
“Retailers focus on providing their customers with
high brix products, which essentially means sweeter
“While the United States has led the way in develop-
ing high brix programs into South Korea, Australian cit-
rus is catching up and we now have similar technology
that has already proved successful in Japan.”
Ms Damiani expressed her gratitude to the Australian
Government Trade Minister Andrew Robb and Seoul-
based agricultural counsellor Joanne Pearce who have
worked hard to get the tariff reductions over the line.
Growers wanting to export to South Korea are encour-
aged to contact Citrus Australia’s market access manag-
er David Daniels, for advice on preparing their orchards
for the 2015 season. Exporters wanting to ship citrus to
South Korea should send expressions of interest to Mr
Daniels as soon as possible.
DRAFT WATER ALLOCATION PLAN
CONSULTATION UNDER WAY
The SA NRM Board has undertaken a review of the
Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed
Watercourse (the plan) and a draft plan is now available
Your feedback is wanted on the draft plan! The board
has worked closely with the Department of Environment,
Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) and the board’s
community-based River Murray Advisory Committee
(RMAC) throughout the review of the plan.
The draft plan includes policies that have been devel-
oped since the plans adoption in 2002, and also incor-
porates lessons learnt during the drought. Additional
changes have been required for consistency with legis-
lation. The Basin Plan has been considered in the writ-
ing of the draft plan, however, full compliance with the
Basin Plan is not required until 2019.
A link to the draft plan can be found online (natu-
The Department of Environment, Water and Natural
Resources, the Government of South Australia, Draft
Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed
Watercourse Consultation is underway, Sourced on
December 16, 2014.
SEASON UPDATE RIVERLAND
The main fruit drop period for navels is over
and the fruitlets at the end of the cell divi-
sion stage with the cell expansion stage to follow.
Crop load and fruit size trends this season are similar to
last year, i.e. the season started with a heavy flowering
with the expectation of an ‘on year’.
However, significant fruit drop has occurred through-
out the southern regions. Early crop load observations
indicate an average crop for early navels, below average
for mid-seasons and a significantly below average crop
for late navels.
There is a very high level of variation between blocks,
with some blocks carrying good crop levels (i.e. poten-
tially 45T/ha) while others have barely set any fruit (i.e .
one fruit per counting frame).
The average to below average crop loads are
expected to have good fruit size. Mandarins started
with a good flowering and a high level of fruit set
causing some concern of an ‘on year’. They have also
had a significant fruit drop, with average crop loads.
Korea/China/Thailand: Red scale and Fullers rose
weevil: Growers exporting to Korea, China or Thailand
must ensure trees are skirted and apply the first trunk
band spray if required in December.
Red scale numbers have been building up and if
exporting to Korea blocks should be closely monitored
and an oil spray applied as soon as possible.
Herbicide MRL levels: Last season there was a MRL
breach for herbicides on fruit in a major export market.
Growers need to ensure that fruit are never in direct
contact with herbicides. Spray nozzles need to be angled
downwards and spray rigs should be shrouded. The
skirting of trees is also critical to ensure no fruit are in
the herbicide strike zone.
GA summer spray: Late December to January is the
preferred timing for a GA spray. GA is considered an
‘essential spray’. Research has shown a 20ppm GA appli-
cation while orange fruitlets are between 30-50mm in
size (typically referred to as ‘golf ball’ size) is the most
effective pre-harvest treatment to reduce the incidence
of albedo and rind breakdown.
GA will increase rind strength and hence improve the
ability of the rind to withstand puncture and post-har-
vest anthracnose infection.
Spraying is best early in the morning, during slow
drying conditions. Avoid spraying during hot spells of
40C and above and if necessary wait for a cool change
It is best to apply GA three weeks after an oil spray, or
one week prior to an oil spray. Thorough coverage of the
fruit is essential and ensure all label recommendations
PESTS AND DISEASES AND ISSUES
Red Scale: Red scale has already been detected at high
levels in a number of orchards.
There is potential for a high red scale year if control
measures are not taken now. Oil sprays are best applied
in the first two weeks of December. Most of the scale
has already hatched. Growers should also consider
measures to mitigate ant activity and consider Aphytis
releases in trees seven to eight years or older.
Note: A four-week gap should be left between insec-
ticides and Aphytis releases or between oil and GA
If you have questions about anything in this week’s
column or an issue that you would like discussed please
contact the chair Con Poulos (saregion@citrusaustra-
Tech-savvy farmers after useful
smartphone apps to give them a hand
out in the field can take advantage of
a new guide.
The second edition of Ag Excellence
Alliance’s Smartphone Apps for Smart
Farmers was released last week following
the first version in 2012.
The project is a joint partnership between
Ag Excellence Alliance, the South Australian
Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources
Management Board and the Department of
Environment, Water and Natural Resources,
supported with funding from the NRM
levy, South Australian and Australian
Ag Excellence Alliance administration
manager Mandy Pearce said the new edi-
tion contains 414 apps, of which 235 are
iOS apps for iPhones and iPads and 179 are
Android apps, for brands such as Samsung,
HTC and Nokia.
“This edition reflects just how far technol-
ogy has moved in only two years,” she said.
Mrs Pearce said the guide identifies both
paid and free apps that can help farmers in
their day-to-day work, including everything
from weather or fire information to business
tools, farm inputs and supplies.
“There’s a lot of new content online which
has been identified in this second edition
with 226 new apps, including 123 iOS and
103 Android,” she said.
“The original publication generated an
enormous amount of interest and I have been
asked to speak to groups about apps at vari-
ous events across the state, and interstate,
since it was released.
“With this overwhelming response, it was
only logical that it needed updating to ensure
the latest information was available.”
Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling
Basin sustainable farming project officer
Mark May said his organisation was keen to
be involved in the project following interest
among farmers to access information via
smartphone and tablet devices.
“We saw value in assisting farmers to
become aware of agricultural specific apps
which will help them make informed farm-
ing business decisions,” he said.
“Using the apps can help farmers with
their time management, record keeping and
much more, leading to increase in farming
“Working with Ag Excellence has been a
valuable partnership resulting in a resource
that is easy to use and can be updated for the
next 12 months.”
Mrs Pearce said the project’s next stage
is to list all the apps on the Ag Excellence
website so users can filter and search the
apps that may be useful without having to
search through numerous apps on iTunes or
Google Play. This is due for completion in
The book is available in three formats – the
full edition, iOS or Android – and can be
downloaded via the website (agex.org.au).
A tech savvy farmers guide
Mandy Pearce, of Ag Excellence, and Mark
May, Natural Resources SAMDB, with the
second edition of Ag Excellence Alliance’s
Smartphone Apps for Smart Farmers.
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