Home' The Loxton News : January 29th 2015 Contents 8 -- The Loxton News, Thursday, January 29, 2015
MDBA total storage
decreased by 118GL,
with the active storage
now 4963GL (59 per
cent capacity). This is
around 1000GL less
than the long-term
average active storage
for this time of year.
Reservoir, the storage decreased by 26GL
to 3159GL (82 per cent capacity).
The release, measured at Colemans
gauge, will be reduced from 4800ML/day
to 3000ML/day. At Hume Reservoir, the
storage volume reduced by 64GL with the
total storage now at 1536GL (51 per cent
At Torrumbarry Weir, diversions at
National Channel are 2000ML/day.
The flow downstream of Torrumbarry
is 7600ML/day and forecast to remain
The flow in the Murrumbidgee River
at Balranald rose from 1650ML/day to
1900ML/day following recent rainfall
which added to IVT water already en-route
to the Murray.
At Menindee Lakes, the storage volume
decreased 18GL to 156GL (9 per cent
capacity). Releases at Weir 32 are steady at
150ML/day, whilst local rain on the lower
Darling has contributed to boosting the
flow at Burtundy to 160ML/day.
At Wentworth Weir, the release is
At Lake Victoria, the storage volume
has decreased by 11GL to 462GL (68 per
The flow to South Australia was
increased from 7500ML/day to around
At the Lower Lakes, the five-day aver-
age water level in Lake Alexandrina
increased from 0.63 to 0.64m AHD.
Berri 240EC units, Waikerie 260,
Morgan 270, Milang 800.
New tool to determine grape
and wine prices
Over recent decades the relation-
ships between growers and wineries
have increasingly been reduced to
writing in the form of complicated
contracts and industry codes.
An outcome of this trend has been
a weakening of value chain principles.
In a value chain, every link, from the
grower to the consumer, understands
inter-dependence; the need for every
link to be strong for the business or
industry to grow and be viable in the
In a perfect value chain, besides
having a relationship with his/her
customer (the winery who purchases
his/her grapes), the grower actual-
ly knows who is purchasing the end
product. Likewise, in that perfect value
chain the wine consumer knows who
grew the grapes and where they were
In the grape and wine industry many
of those older-style relationships have
stalled or fractured.
It's true the Riverland's boutique
and artisan wine producers build and
maintain strong value chains, but most
members are bound by contracts with
larger organisations where the lack of
transparency and pressures on field
staff make it difficult to know where
who the consumers are. Contracts and
the code have placed the emphasis
fairly and squarely on indicative pric-
es and their release in mid-December
To assist growers in understanding
the relationship between the price per
litre for bulk wine and the indicative
prices offered for grapes, Riverland
Wine has developed a simple ready
This tool makes it very easy to see
what the price per tonne can be, based
on the price per litre of bulk wine at
the point of sale.
All members are urged to go online
and use the tool and provide feedback.
In the next few weeks Riverland Wine
will set up a link to enable members to
reference bulk wine prices on-line. Let
us know what you think about the tool.
Chardonnay indicators positive
Australia crushed 47,000 tonnes (or
approximately 45 million bottles) less
chardonnay in 2014 than 2013.
Early indications are that the 2015
crop could well be down again on
A combination of many factors,
including the weakening of the
Australian dollar against the USD and
other customer exchange rates, lower
fuel (freight) costs and the recognised
style and quality of
Australian chardonnay at all price
points has some long term industry
observers sensing a return to balance.
"I'm not saying that I'm ready to
go out planting again yet!" said Jack
Papageorgiou of Renmark, a veteran of
"There are some encouraging signs
but certainly I will not be planting
without a sound contract with a repu-
Riverland Wine has observed a
sharp increase in interest in the
'grapes for sale' listing and a moderate
push up in price.
Chris Byrne, of Riverland Wine, said
"the spot purchase price for chardon-
nay has moved to $235 per tonne this
week with strong interest from sev-
eral larger wineries and large par-
cels of shiraz and cab sauv have been
He added: "It may be that buyers are
anticipating lower yields across most
regions but there do seem to be some
green shoots emerging."
It is still early to be predicting yields
with confidence but for those with
grapes for sale the signs are encour-
Several months ago, Trevor
Noble and his team relocated their
GrowSmart operation to the Loxton
Research Centre, one of the first
Riverland Businesses to seize the
opportunity to move to the centre
prior to its redevelopment as part of
the SARMS program.
GrowSmart Training is an incorpo-
rated, not-for-profit organisation that
has been providing quality training
since 1997 in the Riverland region.
Trevor and his team provide training
from Certificate II to Diploma level in
Horticulture, Production Horticulture
and Conservation and Land
Management. GrowSmart used to be
known as the Riverland Horticultural
Many of GrowSmart's courses are
subsidised by government so this
makes the cost of building your skill-
base more affordable. The organisation
works closely with the Commonwealth
Government's Skills for All funding.
GrowSmart Training is a Skills for All
Visit the website (skills.sa.gov.au)
for eligibility criteria
Riverland Wine encourages all mem-
bers to review their range of skills
even if you think, 'I'm just a grower'.
There is often a tendency for grow-
ers to under-value themselves, Trevor
"But it's amazing how many skills
they all have," he said.
"We can build their confidence by
identifying these skills and show-
ing them how easily they can trans-
fer those skills to other industries or
businesses, especially those for whom
maintaining a fruit growing enterprise
is just too difficult."
GrowSmart Training also delivers
the following short courses:
• Chemcert (one day course) and
ChemCert Re-accreditation (one day)
-- required for people wishing to pur-
chase and handle S7 chemicals.
• Using and maintaining chainsaws
(one day course) -- essential for anyone
who uses chainsaws.
• Operating quad bikes (one day
course) -- essential for anyone who
uses quad bikes.
• Vertebrate pest technician licence
• Staff leadership and Management
(two day course).
For more information including full
details of fees and charges contact
Trevor on 8584 5147 or 0448 328
227 or via email (tnoble@growsmart.
week ending Wednesday, January 21 Citrus Australia - SA Regional Wrap
Korea, China, Thailand and
Taiwan 2015 citrus export
Applications are still open for
growers to nominate orchards/
blocks for export to Korea, China,
Thailand and Taiwan in the 2015
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 Taiwan
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, stream-
line 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
• Complete the national tree cen-
sus and indicate your interest in the
program. If you are unsure how to
do this email (treecensus@citrusau-
stralia.com.au). You will be given a
user name and password to enter
the electronic system. Please retain
• After you complete the tree cen-
sus, you will receive an email asking
which blocks you would like to nom-
inate for the program.
• Re-enter the system with your
user name and password. Nominate
blocks, export markets and pack-
• This step must be completed by
growers by January 31, 2015.
• 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 man-
age the application from this point.
FOR PACKING HOUSES
• Packing houses for KCTT and
Japan export markets must register
with Citrus Australia, email (reg-
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 sys-
tem by March 3.
• Packing-houses must upload an
orchard map into the system by
• Packing-houses must sign an
electronic declaration (in the sys-
tem) that orchards have met quar-
antine requirements by March 3.
• Your application is now com-
plete and packing-houses will
receive confirmation by email.
• The Department of Agriculture
will contact packing-houses to audit
some of the orchards/blocks being
nominated for export.
• Once audits are complete, pack-
ing-houses will be notified of the
progress of applications by the
Department of Agriculture.
ChemCert and chainsaw training
dates for 2015
GrowSmart Training is a
Riverland-based, incorporated, not-
for-profit organisation that has been
providing quality training since
1997 in the Riverland region.
The following dates for 2015
courses have been released.
• ChemCert: 9am-4-30pm both
days: March 5 and 6, April 29 and
30, June 25 and 26, September 15
and 16, December 9 and 10.
• ChemCert re-accreditation:
9am-1-30pm: February 6, March
27, May 22, July 31, October 13,
• Chainsaw training: 8am-5pm:
March 3, May 5, June 30, September
1, November 3.
For all interested growers please
contact GrowSmart Training on
8584 5471 to secure your spot.
CASAR IDO Sam Rogers held
grower day in Sunlands yesterday,
The meeting focused on
spray application presented by
experts in this field and on farm
There will also be a grower day in
Loxton towards the end of February,
with more details to follow.
The CASAR committee held its
first monthly meeting for 2015 and
would like to report on the following
The theme of this year's SA citrus
promotion is 'bringing back citrus
into sporting events'.
We will continue working closely
with the SA citrus industry, CAL as
there is a lot of work to be done
between now and a projected launch
date of mid-May. A detailed summary
will be provided to industry at our
regional forum meeting scheduled in
April this year.
CASAR will continue to work
closely with Citrus Australia,
government and their departments
both at a state and federal level to
address many issues including
biosecurity, market access and trade.
CASAR chair Con Poulos was
recently appointed as the horticultural
councillor to Primary Producers SA
(PPSA), the peak agricultural body in
South Australia, which is chaired by
ex-Premier Rob Kerin.
Con aims to bring to the discussion
horticultural issues that extend
across various commodities and
regions including water, biosecurity,
investment and trade within the
horticultural sector in South Australia
as well as particular focus on the
Riverland as the premier horticultural
growing region in the state.
At the time of writing this column
CASAR IDO Sam Rogers is travelling
around the Riverland with David
Daniels (citrus market access
manager) and Nathan Hancock
(manager market information and
quality) from Citrus Australia.
Sam, David and Nathan are
visiting Riverland packing sheds
and growers to discuss the tree
census, Korea, China, Thailand,
Taiwan, Japan online grower/
packer registrations, crop estimates,
quality standards importing country
requirements/work plans, Korea,
China, Thailand online training,
and the Department of Agriculture
If you have questions about
anything in this week's column or an
issue that you would like discussed,
contact the chairman Con Poulos
via email (saregion@citrusaustralia.
com.au) or Sam Rogers (sam.
on mobile 0477 110 933.
Harvest yield 'better than expected'
by Stephanie Gropler
Figures from the 2014-
15 harvest are in, with final
numbers suggesting yields
were "better than expected"
for many growers.
The 2014-15 grain harvest was
bittersweet for many due to frost
damage and beet western yellow
However, Viterra eastern region
operations manager Jack Tansley
said growers reported "better than
expected yields" considering dry
spring conditions and frosts experi-
enced around the region.
"This year the Loxton site
received scope malt barley in
response to early signals of good
quality crops," he said.
"This harvest over 900,435 tonnes
have been received into Viterra's
eastern region, which includes the
Murray Mallee sites."
Mr Tansley said overall, it had
been a smooth and safe harvest
with positive feedback from local
"This year the Loxton site oper-
ated with two shifts and provided
consistently longer opening hours
"Prior to harvest, in consulta-
tion with the site committee and
the strategic site committee chair,
the site hours were set to ensure
that growers could confidently plan
Mr Tansley said Viterra continued
to be a "major" employer in the
area, with 330 casuals employed in
the Murray Mallee and South East
regions during harvest.
"Thanks to our staff who did a
great job throughout the harvest
period," he said.
"Thanks also go to the site com-
mittee chairs for their efforts, both
at harvest and during the year, act-
ing as the link between growers and
Viterra, providing feedback on ser-
vices, as well as sharing important
information with growers in their
Throughout the 2014-15 har-
vest, 6,449,203.32 tonnes has been
received in South Australia.
Mr Tansley said local growers
are urged to fill out the Viterra post
harvest review survey, which will
be emailed to growers in the next
"We are encouraging all growers
to deliver any grain off farm as soon
as possible, prior to the commence-
ment of the late season delivery
procedure on February 1," he said.
"Growers with grain still to be
delivered should contact their local
site or regional office to confirm
where segregations are available.
Receival sites accepting late sea-
son deliveries will vary based on
For more information on the late
season delivery procedure and for
site contact, visit the website (ezi-
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