Home' The Loxton News : January 14th 2015 Contents 8 -- The Loxton News, Wednesday, January 14, 2015
MDBA total stor-
age decreased by
304GL over the past
two weeks and is
(62 per cent active
is currently holding 3186GL (83 per cent
At Hume Reservoir, the storage volume
reduced by 161GL to 1636GL (54 per
cent capacity). At Doctors Point, the flow
varied between 16,000 and 21,000ML/day
during the last two weeks.
Downstream on the Murray at Euston,
flow has dropped below 7,000ML/day for
the first time since early October 2014
and is currently 6600ML/day. The flow is
expected to hold around this level for the
Total storage in Menindee Lakes fell by
19GL over the last two weeks to 170GL
(10 per cent capacity).
At Lake Victoria, the storage volume
decreased 47GL during the last two weeks
and is currently 482GL (71 per cent
capacity). The flow to South Australia has
averaged 7500ML/day for the last two
weeks and this flow will continue to be
targeted over the coming week.
At the Lower Lakes, the five-day aver-
age level for Lake Alexandrina is 0.6m
AHD and the target flow through the bar-
rages is now 1000ML/day. Dredging oper-
ations will begin this week at the Murray
Mouth to maintain connectivity between
the river and the Southern Ocean.
Berri 220EC units, Morgan 260,
Mannum 380, Milang 790.
A 20 cent miracle would be good
If the first week of 2015 is anything to go by we are
in for another year of challenge.
Prolonged heat, the threat of heavy rains, indica-
tions of hastening maturity and no indication of price
relief for the majority of producers are the topics on
A miracle solution would be an immediate increase
of 20 cents per bottle of wine to the growers.
If that were to happen, the relief would be immense,
not just for growers, as the regional economy would
also be boosted by roughly $80 million.
It would greatly ease the gap between despair and
confidence. It would put a spring back into the step of
the entire community.
There’s no doubt, the $80 million would be well
and truly spent, many times over and over. The
regional economy would benefit enormously, to say
nothing of the flow-on effects for the SA economy.
If any industry prophet had foretold, 10 years ago,
that 2015 wine grape prices would plunge to be the
meanest in almost four decades, there would not be
much of a Riverland wine industry left.
Thankfully there was no such prophet and the
Riverland wine industry is still positioned to be able
to make the next great escape. Back in 2005, as mem-
bers were about to experience drought restrictions
for the first time, there was (blind) confidence that
the industry would pull through.
Hindsight now reveals how crucial it is to get policy
The ‘accelerated depreciation’ policy of the mid
1990s that ran rampant for almost 10 years has had
an impact, not just in the Riverland but throughout
the industry. The ‘competition’ policies that have
enabled major retailers to drive primary producers
beyond the point of being sustainable are threatening
We hear suggestions from some, who should know
better, that we should ‘withhold supply’. It won’t hap-
pen. Nor will the 20 cent miracle.
The management committees of Riverland Wine
will meet next week to try to develop a position
in relation to the policies that are stifling progress
towards that extra 20 cents in the bottle.
That would mean the return to growers from a
bottle of wine would sky-rocket to about 46 cents.
When we stand back as a community and take a
minute or two to realise how much primary produc-
tion means to regional Australia, it’s hard to imagine
too many wine consumers would begrudge such a
Australian wine code change
The national Wine Industry Code of Conduct has
been revised to improve how winegrape price dis-
putes are resolved.
Developed jointly by the Winemakers’ Federation
of Australia (WFA) and Wine Grape Growers Australia
(WGGA) in 2008, the updated code comes into force in
time for the upcoming 2015 harvest.
WFA chief executive Paul Evans said disagreements
arose in some transactions between winemakers and
winegrape growers from time to time and having
disputation procedures in the code was a business
safeguard for both parties.
Mr Evans said disputes are inevitable but having a
code of practice with disputation process would help
parties resolve differences without necessarily having
to seek expensive legal advice.
“Where disputes do occur, the code aims to resolve
them as quickly and as amicably as possible and for
this reason it makes sense for all wine companies to
sign on to the code if they haven’t already done so,” Mr
As part of a wide-ranging review of the code this
year, the WFA and WGGA have agreed to extend the
time when a dispute over final price can be mutu-
ally resolved, from 14 to 60 days, during the harvest
period. WGGA executive director Lawrie Stanford
said this extension would allow growers, during the
busy harvest period, to effectively mount and resolve
Mr Stanford said it was hoped all disputes would be
kept to a minimum this vintage.
“In the main, disputes tend to occur around wine-
grape prices or specifications of winegrape maturity,
purity or condition,” he said. “This results in either
a price adjustment or rejection of the winegrapes
which can lead to sometimes lengthy and expensive
An up-to-date copy of the code is available at the
Now is the time to...
Determine the need for additional control options
from this point on.
Time is fast running out to find solutions to poten-
tial problems, with chemical withholding periods
closing rapidly with the onset of harvest.
How did you fare with the recent weather events?
Consult the CropWatch message issued on January
6 for more information of disease risk from wet
weather events at this time of year.
Sustained rainfall and leaf wetness can lead to vari-
ous disease concerns and strategies must be employed
to determine if treatment may be necessary.
There are various factsheets that have been writ-
ten about each disease, its lifecycles, potential for
crop loss and treatment options. Visit the AGWA
website for more information (research.agwa.net.
Continue to rigorously monitor your vineyards.
Stick your head into the canopies and have a look and
a sniff to find out what is going on.
If something doesn’t look or smell right, or if you
are unsure, contact someone who might be able to
help you determine if there is a problem.
Winery staff will help growers produce clean fruit
at harvest. It makes better wine. Don’t hesitate to ask
your GLO or other advisers if you do not have a GLO.
Risk of crop loss must be weighed against the ability
to use various control options and the cost of using
If you think you do not need to spray any more, be
kind to your equipment and give it a thorough clean
out, wash down and protective coating (both inside
and out) before you put it into the shed.
A bit of TLC will help you look after your significant
investment in this crucial piece of equipment.
Now is also the time to...
Keep an eye on the weather forecast. Water vines
up to help them survive heat events, but be prepared
to wind them back down again with cooler weather.
Excessive water in cooler conditions may lead to rein-
vigoration of vine canopies with new, fresh growth
becoming apparent, usually something to avoid at
this time of year.
Are you ready for harvest? Have you liaised with
your harvesters and carriers? Are your tractors, fork-
lifts, trailers and loading bays all ready? Preventative
maintenance helps keep things moving when you are
under the pressure to harvest in a hurry.
Subscribe to CropWatch
Growers who would like to receive CropWatch can
contact Riverland Wine by phone 8584 5816 or email
week ending Wednesday, January 4 Citrus Australia - SA Regional Wrap
Citrus Technical 2015 – March 16-17, Mildura
Citrus growers and packers will have the opportunity
to discover the next big thing in technology and gain an
insight into current research projects at Citrus Technical
The two-day event, run by Citrus Australia, will be a
mix of sit-down presentations, workshops and orchard
demonstrations aimed specifically at growers and pack-
ers. Citrus Australia’s market development manager
Andrew Harty said the event will provide growers and
packers with a glimpse into future technologies and pro-
vide a platform for researchers to showcase their work.
“New technology is the lifeblood of any primary indus-
try, and the citrus industry is no exception,” he said.
“Unless we continue to invest in better ways to grow,
pack and market our products to the world, we will get
“The format of the event will encourage growers to
participate in a setting they feel comfortable in. The
forum will also include displays of new equipment, prod-
ucts and services by commercial companies and provide
a great opportunity to network. A forum specifically for
the packing sector will cover new post-harvest technol-
ogy and practices.”
The event will take place at the Mildura Arts Centre.
It is planned for the event to become a fixture on the
citrus industry calendar and for it to complement Citrus
Australia’s Market Outlook Forum, held every other year.
The forum is expected to attract 300 plus citrus indus-
try representatives eager to learn, meet and network
with like-minded people. The attendees will include
growers, packers, marketers, exporters, researchers,
government representatives, commercial providers and
Register attendance now at the website (mildu-
Various sponsorship opportunities for the event are
available, including exhibitor space for those looking to
establish or promote their company profile, launch a new
product or service, network and develop new partner-
ships, or join delegates on the field trip events. Interested
in sponsoring this event? Download the proposal from
the website (citrusaustralia.com.au/latest-news/citrus-
Your local CASAR committee will be sponsoring a
coach to this event. We invite all South Australian citrus
growers and packers to join us – please contact SA Citrus
IDO Sam Rogers for details on 0477 110 933.
National Tree Census/Korea, China, Thailand and
Taiwan citrus export programs 2015
Applications are now open for growers to nominate
orchards/blocks for export to Korea, China, Thailand and
Taiwan in the 2015 season.
The first step in the process will be for growers to
complete a tree census form with Citrus Australia and to
nominate blocks for export to Korea, China, Thailand and
The new online system that links the KCTT program
with the national tree census has been implemented as
a result of difficulties experienced in previous seasons.
The system will:
• Provide an earlier start to the export season.
• Streamline the application process.
• Remove the duplication that occurs from year to year
with the current paper-based system.
• Provide real-time information on the status of appli-
cations and audit outcomes.
How to enter the KCTT export program:
Complete the national tree census and indicate your
interest in the program. If you are unsure how to do this
email (firstname.lastname@example.org). You will be
given a user name and password to enter the electronic
system. Please retain those details.
After you complete the tree census, you will receive an
email asking which blocks you would like to nominate
for the program.
Re-enter the system with your user name and pass-
word. Nominate blocks, export markets and packing-
house(s). This step must be completed by growers by
January 31. Your packing-house will receive an email
advising that you have nominated them as your packer.
Your packing house will now have access to the system
and will manage the application from this point.
For packing houses
Packing houses for KCTT and Japan export markets
must register with Citrus Australia (contactregistra-
email@example.com) for a registration form.
Packing houses must have all blocks surveyed by a
registered crop monitor between February 1 and 28.
Registered crop monitors must send the official survey
report to packing houses by February 28. Packing houses
must upload the official survey report into the system
by March 3.
Packing houses must upload an orchard map into the
system by March 3.
Packing houses must sign an electronic declaration (in
the system) that orchards have met quarantine require-
ments by March 3.
Your application is now complete and packing-houses
will receive confirmation by email.
The Department of Agriculture will contact pack-
ing-houses to audit some of the orchards/blocks being
nominated for export. Once audits are complete, packing-
houses will be notified of the progress of applications by
the Department of Agriculture.
Key elements of nutrition for fruit size (Jan-April)
• Nitrogen is important, apply 25 per cent of annual
requirement (adjust for crop load) throughout this peri-
od; High levels of nitrogen delay maturity;
• Ensure adequate nitrogen levels for carbohydrate
reserves for next seasons flower initiation in winter;
• Potassium is also important, apply 30 per cent
of annual requirement after final fruit drop stage in
• Maintain good nitrogen: potassium ratios (2≈1).
Potassium: Potassium should be applied during January
and February after the final fruit drop stage. However, too
much or too little potassium will inhibit calcium uptake
therefore increasing the likelihood of albedo breakdown.
Aim for leaf levels of 1.0- per cent-1.5 per cent. The
higher the nitrogen levels are, the higher the potassium
levels should be, to ensure that good N: K (2≈1) ratios are
achieved. Potassium sprays should occur in December,
January, and February (3 per cent potassium nitrate
depending on historical leaf-K levels). Potassium is espe-
cially important from February onwards.
Nitrogen: Aim to provide 25 per cent of the annual
nitrogen requirements. If you are broadcasting apply as
a single dose in January. If you are using fertigation apply
at monthly intervals from January through to April. It is
important to be careful at this stage for those varieties
which you wish to harvest early, as high nitrogen levels
will delay maturity. Applications should always be based
on leaf analysis and leaf colour.
Additional: Research from California shows that foliar
sprays of potassium phosphite in November and January
significantly improved fruit size even at optimum phos-
phorous and potassium leaf levels.
South African growers use foliar sprays of MAP (0.5 per
cent) and potassium nitrate (3-4 per cent) in November
and January to provide phosphorous and potassium
when demand is high.
Partnership to start
Agreement (JAEPA) will
come into force tomorrow.
Member for Chaffey Tim
Whetstone said the implemen-
tation of the partnership agree-
ment was "great news" for the
"Exporters to Japan will ben-
efit from two rounds of tariff
cuts in the first half of 2015 and
enhance their competitiveness in
the market," he said.
"This free trade agreement
(FTA) provides an important
boost for businesses and comes
on the back of Australia's deal
with South Korea which came
into force late last year."
Mr Whetstone said South
Australia's agricultural, food and
wine exports to Japan total more
than $300 million per year and
Japan is the state's third largest
export market for agricultural
"The Riverland and Mallee has
a number of livestock producers
who will be among the greatest
beneficiaries of the agreement
with standard tariffs to be signifi-
cantly reduced," he said.
"There are also significant
advantage for other agricultural
products, with fruit and vegeta-
bles, nuts, juice, wool and sea-
food and wine set to benefit.
"South Australia's exports
to Japan have declined by 1.4
per cent in the 12 months to
November, 2014, making up less
than 5 per cent of the state's total
share of exports. I believe there
is much room to strengthen the
state's trade with Japan and with
the FTA in effect, the Riverland
and Mallee can play a key role
At the end of 2013, Japanese
investment in Australia was
valued at $131.0 billion and
Australian investment in Japan
reached $50.2 billion.
The JAEPA was signed in
Canberra on July 8, 2014, dur-
ing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's
visit to Australia.
Locals are reminded to lodge
their written submissions in
response to the Draft Water
Allocation Plan for the River
Murray Prescribed Watercourse
by the end of next month.
South Australian Murray-Darling
Basin Natural Resources Management
Board presiding member Sharon
Starick said it was not too late for
people to comment.
"We've had a fantastic response to
the draft plan so far in terms of sub-
missions from members of the com-
munity, but there's certainly still time
for submissions to be made," she said.
A series of three open house meet-
ings were held in early December,
giving the community the chance to
discuss the draft plan in person with
"Submissions can be as long or as
short and as formal or as informal as
people want to make them," said Ms
"The important thing is for any-
one interested in having their say on
the management of the River Murray
water resource to make a submission
before the closing date."
Copies of the draft plan can be
viewed at the Natural Resources
Centre offices or downloaded from
the Natural Resources SAMDB web-
site.Submissions may be made online
course) or sent via email (rmwap.
The deadline for comment is 5pm on
Friday, February 27.
Consultation closing soon
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