Home' The Loxton News : March 18th 2015 Contents The Loxton News, Wednesday, March 18, 2015 -- 9
STILL TIME FOR AGWA INPUT
Brian Walsh, in his capacity as chair
of the Australian Grape and Wine
Authority (AGWA), together with CEO
Andreas Clark, general manager Kate
Harvey and program manager Elise
Heyes met with the management
committee of Riverland Wine (RW) at
Banrock Station last Tuesday to fur-
ther develop the five-year strategic plan
due for submission to Minister Barnaby
Joyce by April 30.
Marc Soccio, senior analyst for
Rabobank, attended as a special
Riverland Wine invitee as did former
Riverlander Chris Proud.
Brian set the scene for the discussion
with a clear statement about the role
of the statutory authority as defined
in the AGWA Act (2013). He also sug-
gested that we use the more familiar
name, Wine Australia, when referring
to the authority rather than the acro-
nym AGWA (that doesn't mean much to
most members of industry and is a little
awkward to pronounce). No problems
In a nutshell, its role is:
• To coordinate or fund grape and
wine research and development and
facilitate extension and commercialisa-
tion of R&D outcomes.
• To control the export of wine from
• To promote the sale and consump-
tion of wine both in Australia and over-
The Wine Australia team clarified that
although the Act requires that it pro-
motes the sale and consumption of wine
in Australia and overseas, it has no wine
or brands to sell in its own right.
The team's role is to work with
organisations such as RW to facilitate
marketing and selling opportunities for
all wine producers, including the 16
that operate in our region.
To that end, it was pleasing to noti-
fy the visitors that the RW marketing
group, under the guidance of Andrew
Cheesman, has recently concluded a
survey of the needs and aspirations of
this region's producers.
Andrew has completed a number of
recommendations for consideration by
the RW management committee.
Subject to any final variations this
document will be published and made
available via the website by early April.
During the discussions the RW mem-
bers presented a number of recommen-
dations for the Wine Australia group to
consider in the new strategic plan.
Over the course of the next few
weeks these will be refined and formal-
ly submitted for consideration as part
of the plan.
Brian Walsh urged members to
continue to provide input, saying that
although the prescribed date for public
submissions has expired, the authority
continues to welcome ideas and sug-
gestions to help set the scene for the
next 30 years.
This will mean there may be changes
to organisational structures and con-
sideration of how grape and wine levies
might be better utilised, albeit that the
R&D component is absolutely quaran-
tined to ensure that Australia is able to
maintain its pre-eminence as the world
leader in grape and wine research and
If you have missed the opportunity
for input, don't delay, put your ideas
and writing and send them via email
(firstname.lastname@example.org) and we
will be sure to pass them on.
Alternatively, submit your sug-
gestions directly to Brian via email
AWRI WORKSHOP: ADAPTING TO
This workshop is planned for
Wednesday, May 13, from 9am to 4pm.
It is suited to growers and winemak-
ers, and intends to address topics relat-
ed to changing climate, dealing with
extremes of temperature in the vine-
yard and winery, problems with salt in
wine, dealing with wet seasons in the
winery and the vineyard, and efficien-
cies and sustainability in the winery.
This includes detail such as deal-
ing with difficult or stuck ferments as
a result of heat-affected fruit, dealing
with disease problems such as botry-
tis in the vineyard and the winery,
and dealing with logistical and other
pressures associated with compressed
There is no cost to attend, and morn-
ing tea and lunch are provided.
Bookings are essential to Kate
Kroemer, phone 8584 5816, or email
BROKEN AND UNWANTED VINE POSTS
Following harvest, many growers
are typically checking the vineyard for
broken posts, with a view to replacing
This is a time-consuming and costly
exercise, but something that must be
There are a wide range of materials
used for vineyard posts at present: CCA
(copper chrome arsenate), creosote,
galvanized steel, plastic coated timber,
solid plastic and star droppers.
The decision of which type of posts
to use should take into account not
just the purchase cost, but also the cost
of installation, and possible long-term
cost of disposal.
Currently many growers are storing
posts on their property, but this is just
deferring the eventual need to act.
Treated timber posts cannot be
burnt, and there are guidelines to their
storage and disposal.
Information is available on the SA
Wine Industry Association (SAWIA)
website at the website (winesa.asn.au/
ment/viticulture/) by clicking on the
title 'Treated Timber Guidelines' under
the heading 'Resources' at left of page.
Some growers in other regions have
successfully managed to dispose of
posts by advertising in areas where
there is a significant amount of live-
stock; where farmers in need of posts
have happily travelled to remove them
This may be an option in the Adelaide
Hills areas following recent fires.
Alternatively, growers interested in
finding out about disposal of treated
timber and poly pipe and dripper line
posts can contact Riverland Wine and
leave an expression of interest with
Kate Kroemer, phone 8584 5816, or
If there is sufficient interest,
Riverland Wine may be able to source
disposal options that are lower in cost.
MDBA total stor-
age decreased by
151GL this week,
with the active stor-
age now at 4077GL
(48 per cent capac-
Reservoir, the storage decreased by 3GL
to 3034GL (79 per cent capacity). The
release, measured at Colemans gauge, is
currently at 600ML/day and is planned to
remain at this rate during the coming days.
On the Edward River system, total flow
through the Edward River and Gulpa Creek
offtakes continues at around 1900ML/day.
Diversions to Wakool Main Canal have
averaged 760ML/day this week and the
flow downstream of Stevens Weir is cur-
On the Goulburn River, the flow at
McCoys Bridge has been steady at around
940ML/day. A renewed rise is expected
with the arrival of another flow pulse
released from upstream, partially to facil-
itate the delivery of Inter Valley Transfer
water (IVT), but also for environmental
On the Murrumbidgee River the flow
at Balranald has decreased from 750
to 275ML/day. The flow is expected to
remain steady before rising in due to
another delivery of IVT water to help meet
River Murray system demands. At this
stage, flow rates in the order of 900ML/
day are expected to be maintained over a
three week period during this delivery.
At Wentworth Weir, the flow has been
fairly steady at just over 8000ML/day, but
is expected to recede.
At Lake Victoria, the storage volume
has decreased by 26GL to 238GL (35 per
cent capacity). The flow to South Australia
averaged 9900ML/day, but will decrease
to a target of 6500ML/day after the com-
At the Lower Lakes, the five-day aver-
age water level in Lake Alexandrina
decreased by 1cm to 0.54m AHD. The
arrival of higher inflows during the last
week has helped maintain the lake level
while on-going barrage releases of around
2000ML/day have continued.
Berri 220EC units, Morgan 270,
Mannum 290, Milang 950.
week ending Wednesday, March 11
TERM ONE, WEEK FIVE
This week we went down to the river on
Tuesday before lunch. When we were test-
ing the river water, we found out the turbidity
is 50NTU, which is 10NTU higher than last
week's reading. This means the water is
dirtier than last week.
The salinity is 165ECU, which is 10ECU
lower than last week's reading.
We saw a purple swamp hen and a magpie
lark. When we were coming back, we saw
a whistling kite on a tree brunch close to
the old boat ramp, which was a surprise
because we do not see them that close
When we were going to the river, we saw
a tree that had fallen over. I think it fell over
because the weather on Sunday was really
by Campbell and Caden, year 4
TERM ONE, WEEK SIX
The students from the bilby learning area
went down to the river last Tuesday.
The birds we saw were pelicans, purple
swamp hens and a blue wren.
We also saw a pedal controlled canoe,
which was very interesting to watch.
The turbidity this week was 40NTU, which is
the same as last week's reading.
The salinity reading this week was 172ECU
is 7ECU higher than last week's reading.
by Sophie, year 5
TERM ONE, WEEK SEVEN
On Wednesday, the bilby learning area
team went to the river to do the salinity and
The turbidity this week is above 40NTUs,
which is the same as last week's reading.
The salinity this week is 206ECUs, which is
higher than last week's reading because we
have recalibrated our metre and it is now
The birds we saw this week were two
whistling kites, ducks, willie wagtails, yellow
rosellas, sulphur crested cockatoos, one
pelican and welcome swallows.
by Kasey and Jett, both year 4
Grapes hot topic during visit
Family First MLC Robert
Brokenshire met with local
winegrape growers and
members of the community
while he was in Loxton
earlier this month.
As part of his visit to the
region, Mr Brokenshire dis-
cussed issues surrounding the
current grape harvest.
"I am working with the Wine
Grape Council of South Australia
to amend and strengthen the cur-
rent Wine Grapes Industry Act,
which does little to protect grape
growers," he said.
"There is currently a move for
a review of the national code
which is a good start but what
we really need is a focused state
approach as we are the largest
wine growing area in Australia."
Setting a 1500GL/year
buyback cap will provide
certainty to Riverland
irrigators, while helping
driving greater efficiency
innovations, according to
a State Senator.
Senator for South Australia
Anne Ruston last week
welcomed the Federal
that it would legislate a cap on
"Every drop of water con-
tributed by South Australia to
water reform in the Murray-
Darling Basin has come from
irrigators and river commu-
nities," Senator Ruston said.
"There has always been con-
cern about just how much
more they would be asked to
"This announcement gives
us a lot more certainty. The
Coalition is delivering on its
commitment to take a bal-
anced, triple bottom line
approach to water reform in
Senator Ruston said a legis-
lated cap on buybacks would
result in a greater emphasis on
"We still have a lot of water
to recover to meet the 2750GL/
year target in the basin plan,"
she said. "With a cap on buy-
backs, the focus will shift to
being innovative with how we
deliver water, and how we use
it, to maximise efficiency and
ensure our river communities
can thrive in a sustainable
"South Australian river com-
munities have been pioneering
leaders in irrigation efficiency
for decades and continue to
show the way."
Over 300 people, including
a number of locals, gathered
in Mildura for the Citrus
Technical Forum and Field
Day in Mildura on Monday.
The event saw a focus on the
viability of the citrus industry in
Australia and the need for biosecuri-
ty and innovative technologies.
Citrus Australia chief exec-
utive officer Judith Damiani said
Australian growers were living
through "history in the making",
where a profound global social and
economic transformation will have a
deep and lasting impact worldwide.
"The Asian century demands not
only high quality and safe produce.
But, for our growers to be Asia-
savvy and seek more innovative
ways to grow and market our food,"
Ms Damiani said.
"While we face our fair share of
challenges, these are exciting times
and there is much to be gained
by those who are proactive and
"We will highlight these opportu-
nities, provide an understanding of
future challenges, the steps in place
to overcome them and the future
technologies that will help secure
the viability of the industry."
Citrus Australia chairperson Tania
Chapman encouraged citrus growers
to "open their minds" to the ideas
presented at the two-day event.
"There's a smorgasbord of tech-
nology to learn about, whether
you're a grower, packer or research-
er," she said.
"It's time to harness the typical
innovative, entrepreneurial Aussie
spirit. Let's stop thinking about all
the reason why something wont
work and instead work together to
identify ways on how to solve these
The two-day event featured local
and international specialists, includ-
ing Californian Joel Nelsen, New
Zealand pest expert Dr Jim Walker
and post-harvest legend, David
Sorensen, also from California.
Tom Petch (left),
issues during Mr
to the Riverland.
Field of innovation Buyback cap to drive
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