Home' The Loxton News : January 21st 2015 Contents 10 -- The Loxton News, Wednesday, January 21, 2015
MDBA total stor-
age decreased by
43GL this week, and
the active storage
volume is 5064GL
(60 per cent capac-
ity). The long-term
average active stor-
age for this time of year is approximately
At Dartmouth Reservoir, the storage
was steady at 3185GL (83 per cent capac-
ity). The release, measured at Colemans
gauge, is currently 1500ML/day.
The release from Dartmouth is planned
to be reduced to 3000ML/day for the
period January 23-26.
At Hume Reservoir, the storage vol-
ume reduced by 36GL this week with
the total storage now at 1600GL (53
per cent capacity). The release has been
reduced during the week from 17,700 to
9400ML/day. The release is expected to
increase towards 15,000--18,000ML/day
at Doctors Point.
On the Edward River system, the total
flow through the Edward River and Gulpa
Creek offtakes has remained steady at
around 1900ML/day. At Stevens Weir,
the downstream flow peaked at close to
2600ML/day during the week but is cur-
On the Goulburn River, the flow at
McCoys Bridge has risen to 3000ML/day.
This flow is expected to recede to approxi-
mately 1000ML/day by late January, then
remain steady during the first week of
February. The rainfall resulted in a gain
of 4GL at the Menindee Lakes and the
storage volume is now 174GL (10 per
At Weir 32, the flow has averaged
180ML/day during the week. Local rain
on the lower Darling boosted the flow at
Burtundy, which is now 70ML/day.
The flow at Wentworth, at the Darling
confluence with the Murray, has reached
9560ML/day and is expected to remain
At Lake Victoria, the storage volume
has decreased by 10GL to 473GL (70
per cent capacity). The storage volume
is expected to remain relatively steady as
higher flows arrived from upstream.
The flow to South Australia is cur-
rently 7500ML/day, and is expected to
increase to deliver more environmental
water aimed at sustaining higher barrage
At the Lower Lakes, the five-day
average level in Lake Alexandrina has
increased from 0.60m AHD last week to
This rise in lake level was due to rainfall
on the lakes and in the Riverland. Barrage
releases have been maintained at approxi-
Berri 240EC units, Morgan 270,
Mannum 360, Milang 770.
To blame or not to blame?
During the current discussions about
how the industry continues to face
adverse times, it is often easy to revert to
the behaviour of blame.
Growers blame wine companies for
failing to pay prices that are sustainable,
wine companies blame growers for fail-
ings in fruit quality, and everyone blames
supermarkets for the pressure exerted
back upstream in the supply chain, and
This finger pointing fails to recog-
nise the current lack of profitability as
a global challenge that all wine growers
and producers are trying to deal with,
especially in the 'popular premium' cat-
egory that the Riverland is so good at
There is rarely a passing month with-
out an announcement about wine com-
panies shedding staff, closing facilities,
or issuing write-downs. Clearly the hard
times are not solely restricted to the
growers' community. But what to do
By the time you read this article,
Riverland Wine members will have met
to plan further action to try to resurrect
Following on from the development of
the Strategic Plan, Riverland Wine, which
includes grape growers and winemakers,
firmly believes that the way forward lies
not in blaming each other but in trying to
find answers. While this is not easy, it is
the challenge that we must deal with.
The continued imbalance between
supply and demand will continue to
plague this region as long as low prices
and international competition encourage
wine companies to maximise production
to better utilise their winery assets. This
can only be done when wine grapes are
bought at very low prices, which in turn
forces growers to produce more fruit in
order to remain viable.
The nation then continues to produce
large volumes of fruit and wine which
are difficult to sell, which in turn pro-
longs and exacerbates the oversupply;
and so the cycle continues.
As a backdrop to all this, is the hotly
discussed topic of the WET rebate, which
many would argue acts as a disincen-
tive to export growth. When the rebate
is misdirected, it can have a depressive
effect on wine and grape prices across
the entire category.
The Strategic Plan can be read or
downloaded on the Riverland Wine web-
What is needed is a way to break this
These points are a gross simplifica-
tion of the whole of industry issues that
impact upon the region, but the regional
body is being proactive, and directly
taking up these issues on your behalf
directly with national and state industry
The most likely solutions are to be
found in being proactive and inclusive,
rather than reactive and resorting to
blaming each other. Theodore Roosevelt
put it rather well in a speech at the
Sorbonne, in Paris, France on April 23,
The following is an excerpt:
"It is not the critic who counts; not
the man who points out how the strong
man stumbles, or where the doer of
deeds could have done them better. The
credit belongs to the man who is actually
in the arena, whose face is marred by
dust and sweat and blood; who strives
valiantly; who errs, who comes short
again and again, because there is no
effort without error and shortcoming;
but who does actually strive to do the
deeds; who knows great enthusiasms,
the great devotions; who spends himself
in a worthy cause; who at the best knows
in the end the triumph of high achieve-
ment, and who at the worst, if he fails,
at least fails while daring greatly, so that
his place shall never be with those cold
and timid souls who neither know vic-
tory nor defeat." Read the speech at the
Nominate someone you know
Future Leaders applications are now
This is a professional and personal
development program that creates a net-
work of confident, committed individu-
als who will 'be next' to contribute to the
future success of the Australian wine
Future Leaders will be offered to
15 applicants who have demonstrated
a commitment to the Australian wine
industry. People with open, creative,
inquisitive minds -- who are early to mid-
career and already demonstrating lead-
ership potential -- are invited to apply to
participate in the grape and wine sector's
leadership program. Why not nominate
someone you know?
Over the past 10 years, the program
has produced 75 alumni from the grape
and wine community: winemakers;
grape growers and viticulturists; busi-
ness managers and marketers; suppliers
and researchers. RWGA chair Sheridan
Alm, elected committee member Ashley
Ratcliff and, Riverland Wine's recently
appointed business manager Andrew
Weeks are all graduates of the Future
AGWA program manager Anne Duncan
said that Future Leaders is for commit-
ted wine people who want to develop
leadership skills, extend their knowledge
of the sector and foster collaborative
"We're looking for emerging leaders
who have demonstrated their commit-
ment to the prosperity of Australian wine
-- innovators, collaborators and game-
changers who not only ask questions but
also seek solutions," she said.
The successful applicants will com-
mence a six-month program in June,
including four face-to-face sessions
across the country.
Applications are now open and will
close Friday, March 13. For more infor-
mation visit the website (futurelead-
week ending Wednesday, January 14
Local agribusinesses will be
among those eligible to apply to
a new Australian Government
fund aimed at boosting skills
in their workforce.
Senator for South Australia Anne
Ruston urged local agribusinesses to
apply to the $476 million Industry
"This fund will provide up to
200,000 training places and skills
advice for businesses over the next
four years," she said.
Member for Barker Tony Pasin
welcomed the benefits of a new
$476 million Industry Skills Fund.
"The fund will provide up to
200,000 training places and skills
advice for businesses over the next
four years," he said.
"This is a new way of providing
support to businesses that need to
upskill or retrain their employees to
enable their business to grow, diver-
sify and adopt new technologies."
Guidelines and information can
be found via the website (business.
Season dampener for dried fruit
by Stephanie Gropler
Last week's humid and
mild weather has put a
dampener on this year's
dried fruit season, with
drying times varying and
some crops suffering a loss
due to rain damage.
Angas Park supply manager of
dried fruit David Swain said last
week's mild weather was "not
"It would be nice to have a bit
more temperature around to finish
the apricots off," he said.
"The higher temperatures cer-
tainly allow for the apricots to be
dried quicker, so a little bit more
temperature would be nice."
In the past fortnight, maxi-
mum temperatures have varied
significantly, with 19.8 degrees
recorded on January 10, while last
Thursday reached a maximum of
Since January 8, 25.2mm of
rain has fallen in Loxton and Mr
Swain said the rain came at a
"About 90 per cent of the apri-
cot varieties have been harvested
before the rain," he said.
While the mild weather was not
optimal for drying, Mr Swain said
it meant the quality of the fruit
was "generally good".
"The overall quality of the fruit
this year has been good, sizing
has been above average, so that
has been a positive," he said.
"The fruit is holding its shape
well and has certainly cut well
this year. The blemish on the fruit
has been minimal as well.
"I think the pickers this year
would have probably had a rea-
sonable time. Certainly from all
the fruit that has come in, we have
been pleased with the quality."
Mr Swain said quantity of fruit
dried this year would be up on the
"We had a good flowering peri-
od, but it didn't translate into a
very large crop, as there was some
flower drop at that time," he said.
"So, we didn't start out with a
huge crop, but it was better than
the 2013/14 crop," he said.
"It is fair to say that the Angas
Park quantities that we will take
in will be up on 2013/14."
Irrigation upgrade for Banrock Station vineyard
A major irrigation infrastructure
upgrade is expected to allow more
efficient and effective irrigation at
Banrock Station, with the investment
expected to bring considerable
The filtration system and dripper line used
in the vineyard has been working well for
the past 20 years. However, vineyard man-
ager Shylo Williams said it was time for an
"We irrigate from the river and after previ-
ous floods, we have to cope with black tannins
and fine colloidal clays, as well as algae and
other debris,'' he said.
The Kingston-on-Murray vineyard is upgrad-
ing to the Arkal Spin-Klin Star disc filters and
UniRam dripper line.
Mr Williams said they previously had two
Star 15 filters and upgraded to three Star 18
systems. The latest filters also use stainless
He said alternative filters had higher flush-
ing wastage compared with the Star systems
and so required more power. When backflush-
ing at Banrock Station, the back flush water
goes into a dam and is recycled.
"With some other filter systems, you end up
having to do a lot of work to keep them clean.
You need to shut them down and clean the inter-
nal screens. With the Star filters, you just pop a
cap and pressure clean,'' Mr Williams said.
"The other bonus is their footprint -- we can
still fit them in the (existing) shed. With other
filters, we would have needed a bigger shed.''
(left) and Daniella
Nobile have been
working at Angas
plant this drying
Workers at the Angas Park Loxton North site busy cutting apricots.
Boost for local
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