Home' The Loxton News : February 18th 2015 Contents The Loxton News, Wednesday, February 18, 2015 -- 13
MDBA total stor-
age decreased by
151GL this week,
with the active stor-
age now 4550GL (54
per cent capacity).
Reservoir, the stor-
age decreased by
29GL to 3081GL (80 per cent capac-
ity). The release, measured at Colemans
gauge, will be held around 3600ML/day
as water is transferred downstream to
At Hume Reservoir, the storage volume
decreased by 82GL to 1282GL (43 per
cent capacity). Releases from Hume aver-
aged 18,000ML/day over the past week,
but are expected to ease slightly due to the
likelihood of storm activity and associated
Diversions from the major irrigation
offtakes at Lake Mulwala were steady
at around 6800ML/day. The pool level
in Lake Mulwala is currently 124.75m
AHD and the downstream release from
Yarrawonga Weir is steady at 10,100ML/
The draw down will allow routine test-
ing of the weir structure, erosion control
works on the lake foreshore, as well as an
opportunity to manage the invasive water
weed egeria densa. Lowering the water
level and subjecting the exposed weed
to frost has proven in the past to be an
effective method for controlling its spread
within the weir pool.
At Lake Victoria, the storage volume
has decreased by 32GL to 381GL (56 per
cent capacity). The daily flow to South
Australia is targeting 9400ML/day.
At the Lower Lakes, the five-day aver-
age water level in Lake Alexandrina
decreased by 4cm this week to 0.58m
AHD. This reduction in lake level was
significantly influenced by the hot weath-
er and increased evaporation experienced
over South Australia in the past week.
Barrage releases averaged around 2300
ML/day for the week.
Berri 200EC units, Morgan 270,
Mannum 280, Milang 790.
OPINIONS WANTED NOW
The Australian Grape and Wine
Authority (AGWA) has commenced
extensive consultations prior to devel-
oping the new strategic plan for our
Australian wine industry.
In a recent release, AGWA chair Brian
Walsh said: "We are really encouraged
by the level of interest from our levy
payers and the broader wine commu-
nity and the support we've received for
our two strategic priorities thus far".
Readers of this column may recall a
reference to the discussion paper pub-
lished in December to encourage wine
growers, makers and marketers to get
In the introduction Brian said: "The
authority will endeavour to create a
more prosperous Australian grape and
We ARE that community.
It can be tempting to think that
someone else will take responsibility.
Strategic plans can be difficult to con-
struct. Certainly, the management team
at AGWA will prepare the document,
but they are not wine growers, makers
Unless we, the community, inform
them of how we think we can achieve
that prosperity they will likely get it
Now is the time to think about what
you would do if you were the captain of
the wine industry.
What would you do to restore confi-
dence in our industry?
What would you do to increase the
demand for our wine in Australia and
What policies would you alter or
what new policies would you set?
What would you do first?
And a very important question...
how would you spend the research and
Don't be an armchair expert, after the
event. Have you say now.
This is our plan. If we get it right, we
will lay the foundations for recovery
and long-term prosperity.
All Riverland Wine members are
invited to read the document on the
AGWA website (agwa.net.au) and think
about the questions above.
If enough members respond, the
association will arrange a meeting (or
two) to capture your thoughts and
ensure the AGWA management team
Feedback is invited on the priori-
ties outlined in the discussion paper.
Members can email Riverland Wine or
make their own submission to AGWA
by February 20.
Alternatively you may contact the
office by phone (8584 5816) or email
The Riverland Wine management
committee is meeting with AGWA board
members and management on March 10
to provide feedback on the discussion
paper and to offer input to the plan.
The plan itself will be finalised and
presented to Minister Joyce on April 30.
AGWA link: (agwa.net.au/agwa-stra-
Email link: (admin@riverlandwine.
com.au). Subject: AGWA Discussion Paper.
ORGANIC WINE -- A GROWTH AREA
The most recent 2014 Australian
Organic Market report suggests that
the market for organically produced
fruit and wine is rapidly growing, albeit
from a relatively low base.
The report suggests farmgate value
of $54.4 million in 2014, up from $25.13
million in 2012; an annual growth rate
of 29 per cent.
The production of organic wine
increased by 120 per cent from 2011
to 2014, and it is estimated that 85 per
cent of the national production ema-
nates from South Australia.
There is a growing demand for
organic wines in Europe.
It is estimated that a third of French
wine consumers drink organic wine; an
increase of 22 per cent in 2013.
This may be encouraging news in
such challenging times for growing fruit
and making wine in this region.
Many experts have suggested that
the Riverland offers an ideal climate
for organic or sustainably grown wine
grapes, due to the region's hot and dry
Several local producers have suc-
cessfully taken up organic production
models, and the making of organic wine
may offer an alternative to traditional
channels to market.
At present the total amount of fruit
and wine involved is small compared to
the conventional wine market, but this
may be an option for some growers and
winemakers in future.
GRAPES FOR SALE LISTING
Growers interested in listing uncon-
tracted grapes through Riverland Wine
should contact our office by phoning
8584 5816 or email to receive a form to
be completed which will then be listed
on the register sent to South Australian
Growers who have sold grapes
or have changes to their listing are
reminded to contact the Riverland Wine
week ending Wednesday, February 11
TERM ONE, WEEK THREE
Last Wednesday, we went down to the river
for the first time this year.
The salinity this week is 169ECU. However,
we think this is a bit low because it is a lot
lower than what it was at the end of last
We are not sure we are calibrating the salin-
ity meter correctly because it is a new meter.
Each week, we compare our readings to
the data supplied by SA Water. We do this
because the lock master uses more accu-
The turbidity this week is 40NTU, which is
exactly the same as last week.
by Kasey, year 4
Pasin: NZ wine tax rebate must go
Member for Barker
Tony Pasin meet with
industry leaders last
week, calling for an
end to the New Zealand
wine equalisation tax
Mr Pasin called for a
removal of the rebate
when discussing the issue
with chief executive of the
Winemakers Federation of
Australia, Paul Evans, in
Canberra last Wednesday.
He said there was a need
to "level the playing field
for Australian wine produc-
ers", especially those from
"The so called 'rebate'
paid to New Zealand wine-
makers, is hurting producers
in wine producing regions
in my electorate and across
Australia at a time when the
wine sector can least afford
it," Mr Pasin said.
"Australian taxpayers are
forking out over $23 mil-
lion a year to Kiwi wine
producers so they can com-
pete against our own local
"If you don't pay Australian
taxes then you can't receive
an Australian rebate -- it is
just a subsidy, one that we
can no longer afford to keep
Following up from the
discussions, Mr Pasin met
with Assistant Treasurer Josh
Frydenberg last Thurdsay in
a step towards having the
WET rebate abolished.
"The wine industry is a
foundation industry in my
electorate and for South
Australia, and I am deter-
mined to ensure that they are
not being punished by unfair
tax arrangements that give
our competitors a leg up," Mr
"It's the economic equiva-
lent of playing the All Blacks
a man down or the Silver
Ferns without a goal keep-
er. We wouldn't cop it on
the sporting field and we
shouldn't cop it in the vine-
Member for Barker Tony Pasin (left) met with Winemaker's Federation of Australia chief
executive Paul Evans in Canberra last week.
will be in the spotlight,
with the Murray-Darling
Basin Authority (MDBA)
announcing $1 million
to fund studies at the
National Centre for
MDBA chief executive
Rhondda Dickson said the
collaboration would provide
important technical and sci-
entific support for decision
making in the Murray-Darling
"The three year research pro-
gram will build on our under-
standing of some of Australia's
most significant groundwater
systems," she said.
The National Centre for
Groundwater Research and
Training at Flinders University
will use the funding to con-
tinue investigations into how
groundwater and surface water
interact, the way groundwater
is replenished, and the impact
of social and economic factors
on groundwater management.
Ms Dickson said improving
the information available on
groundwater in the basin was
"We already have a solid
body of research about par-
ticular aspects of groundwater,
but further work is needed,"
"We are looking forward to
joining forces with the ground-
water centre to further ensure
a healthy Murray--Darling sys-
The National Centre for
Groundwater Research and
Training director, professor
Craig Simmons said he was
delighted to be working with
the MDBA in this new partner-
"We estimate that almost
one third of Australia's total
fresh water exists underground
within the area of the Murray--
Darling Basin," he said.
"The more we learn about
this resource, the better our
understanding of water in the
Basin as a whole."
Herbicide resistance forum
Local farmers will have
the opportunity to listen to
two agricultural experts on
Friday, as they share their
knowledge on herbicide
The Karoonda Ag Bureau will
host Western Australia's Peter
Newman and Bill Crabtree for the
forum, with the risk of herbicide
resistance in the Mallee increas-
Mr Newman and Mr Crabtree's
presentations will focus on their
experiences of herbicide resis-
tance, which is already occurring
in Western Australia.
Coomandook farmer and local
Mallee and Coorong NRM group
member Andrew Hansen said
local farmers should be aware that
herbicide resistance would impact
on profit margins.
"We need to be on the front
foot in our strategies to manage
resistance on our properties," Mr
"This forum represents a rare
opportunity to hear from two
knowledgeable consultants who
have been dealing with the issue
for many years."
Mr Newman is a herbicide resis-
tant weeds specialist, with vast
experience in research and project
He will speak on herbicide resis-
tance and diverse weed manage-
ment using herbicide and non-
Mr Crabtree is known as 'No-Till
Bill' for his enthusiasm and the
role he played in the no-tillage
revolution, currently specialising
in no-tillage technologies.
He will speak on the history
of no-tillage and integrating her-
bicide resistant strategies into a
Local research projects and
opportunities available to land-
holders will be on display during
The herbicide resistance forum
will be held at the Karoonda
Football Clubrooms on Friday at
The morning will conclude with
a free barbecue lunch at 1pm. For
catering purposes, please RSVP to
Helane Norman by calling 8578
Vintage in the Riverland is in full swing, with harvest of most white
vareties near completion.
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