Home' The Loxton News : April 15th 2015 Contents The Loxton News, Wednesday, April 15, 2015 – 13
MDBA total stor-
age fell by 103GL
this week, with the
active storage now
3587GL (43 per cent
storage decreased by
24GL to 2971GL (77 per cent capaci-
ty). The release from Dartmouth, mea-
sured at the Colemans gauge, is currently
6000ML/day aimed at transferring water
At Hume Reservoir the storage fell
by 65GL to 644GL (21 per cent capac-
ity). Hume storage volume is expected
to fall to 20 per cent over the coming
week. Releases at the start of the week
were 18,500ML/day, but were gradually
reduced to 13,500ML/day in response to
The release downstream of Yarrawonga
Weir continued at close to 10,000ML/day.
Downstream at Torrumbarry Weir,
diversions at National Channel have
decreased from around 3000 to 2200ML/
day and the downstream flow is currently
At Lock 8, the weir pool level will be
gradually lowered a further 20cm to 80cm
below FSL this week as part of the cur-
rent weir pool manipulation trial.
At Menindee Lakes, the storage
decreased by 7GL and is now at 78GL
(5 per cent capacity). Releases at Weir 32
averaged 350 ML/day this week.
At Lake Victoria, the storage volume
decreased this week to 166GL (25 per
cent capacity) and the flow to South
Australia is currently 6000ML/day, with
a target of 6400ML/day for the next few
At the Lower Lakes, the five-day aver-
age level in Lake Alexandrina is 0.51m
AHD. Releases through the Barrages have
averaged around 500ML/day because of
high tides and swell.
Berri 240EC units,Waikerie 300,
Mannum 290, Milang 800.
RAISING FALSE HOPE?
The dramatic headline on last Thursday’s
Advertiser, ‘Wine bailout’ was very misleading.
The truth of it is that the entire industry is being
challenged and to imply it’s a Riverland issue is far
from the reality.
Riverland Wine has a long and successful record of
working with Senator Nick Xenophon to bring about
major reforms that have improved conditions for
winegrowers over many years.
Senator Xenophon lobbied hard on behalf of
Riverland Wine and provided excellent access to
some of his federal parliamentary colleagues to bring
about the exit packages.
He single-handedly worked with this organisation
to bring about the amendments to the exit package
that made it more accessible to more irrigators.
He worked tirelessly with us to gain recognition for
this region’s irrigators in the lead up to the Murray-
Darling Basin reforms.
He has made countless journeys to meet with
Riverland producers and has given of his time very
willingly on numerous issues.
For some reason he chose not to discuss his pro-
posal for a temporary 25c per bottle levy on every
bottle of wine to be paid to all winegrowers across
If only it were that simple.
There may well be some merit in Nick’s proposal.
As evidenced through our experience in bringing
about the reforms and policy changes referenced
above, such changes are not readily countenanced by
There is a real risk in creating expectations that
such changes can be made quickly and easily.
The plight of the wine industry has been well docu-
mented over the past decade.
The hardships that have been endured by all stake-
holders were the result of poor policy settings invit-
ing outside investors to the industry.
The trail of destruction is clear for all to see.
Changing policy requires hard work, perseverance,
strong arguments and the determination to under-
stand ‘why it is so’.
The forthcoming Senate inquiry will present the
opportunity for all stakeholders to put forward argu-
ments and proposals for reform.
Riverland Wine has commenced its submission and
will continue to prepare the case for policy review
Riverland Wine respects and empathises with all
producers across the region.
Unquestionably a 25c per bottle levy, imposed on
a temporary basis for all Australian winegrape grow-
ers, would produce massive benefit for all regions.
This region would earn an additional (minimum)
$100 million from such an impost in one year.
It will be interesting to see whether this headline
Unfortunately the negativity generated travels to
every corner of the globe, with the Riverland being
the big loser.
NOW IS THE TIME TO...
Following vintage the following tips about post-har-
vest care may ensure vines store adequate carbohy-
drates for the next year’s growth and production.
Irrigation post-harvest is worthwhile and useful
for retaining the leaves on the vines for as long as
possible after harvest, which allows generation of
carbohydrates for storage in wood over winter.
Irrigation should be balanced, as excess water
may encourage new growth, which will use valuable
carbohydrates and may encourage late season disease
Ensure adequate root zone moisture levels are
maintained throughout autumn and vine dormancy
as vines continue to require water, even after leaf fall.
Application of leaching irrigations to control salt
build-up is preferable at the end of winter after win-
ter rains – usually in late July to August.
Leaching irrigations immediately post-harvest are
usually less efficient, and valuable nutrients may
leach out of the root zone.
Selection of fertiliser: With soil temperatures
dropping growers may consider using ammonium
or nitrate forms of nitrogen post-harvest, as these
forms are more available than urea under these
Care should be taken with the timing of adding
nitrate, as it can be easily leached by rains soon after
Foliar nutrient sprays: While some growers choose
to apply nutrients post-harvest, many consider the
likelihood of nutrient uptake at this stage of the sea-
son marginal, as sudden leaf drop means the effort
Fungicides: With the exception of late season
appearance of mildews, sprays at this time usually
offer questionable benefits.
Gypsum: Incorporation of gypsum relies almost
exclusively on winter rainfall, and is often applied at
In drip-irrigated vineyards gypsum application is
most often concentrated in a band over the root zone,
rather than across the entire row.
Riverland Wine will be convening shed meetings
this month for members.
The meetings will include an update of issues cur-
rently affecting the industry, a demonstration of tech-
nical tools being developed for growers and a review
of progress against the strategic plan.
The meetings will commence at 3pm and the dates
and venues are as follows:
• Monday, April 20, Wurst’s shed, 75D Channel
• Tuesday, April 21, Chabrel’s shed, McKenzie Road,
• Wednesday, April 22, Rosenzweig’s shed, 249
Katarapko Crescent, Winkie.
• Thursday, April 23, Kingston Estates shed, Murtho
• Friday, April 24, Linton Proud’s shed, Alamein
Avenue, Loxton North.
A barbecue will be held after the meeting with sam-
ples of Riverland wines and soft drinks. Attendance is
free for all members of Riverland Wine.
For catering purposes, those planning to attend
need to register with Kate at Riverland Wine, phone
8584 5816 or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
River Murray Water Report
week ending Wednesday, April 8
TERM ONE, WEEK 11
On Wednesday our class went down to
the river to do the salinity and turbidity
testing. Today was a bit cooler than last
week, and the ground had a lot of puddles
and it was very muddy because of the
10mm of rain we had over the weekend.
The salinity this week is 220EC units
which is 10EC units higher than last
week’s readings. The turbidity this week is
40NT units which is 10NT units lower than
last week’s reading.
The change in the turbidity is most likely
to be because there were a lot of boats on
the river over the long weekend.
It was unusual that the friendly whistling kite
was on the other side of the river and did not
come to look at us like it usually does.
by Kasey, year 4
Member for Chaffey and Shadow Minister for Investment and Trade Tim Whetstone (left), Citrus Australia chief executive officer Judith
Damiani, Citrus Australia South Australia Region (CASAR) committee member and Waikerie citrus grower Anthony Fulwood, South
Australian Senator Anne Ruston and Citrus Australia market development manager Andrew Harty at last week’s CASAR forum, held at the
Waikerie Golf and Country Club.
POSITIVE CITRUS MESSAGES
Stories of improving prices
were among the positive
messages to come from
a citrus forum held in the
Riverland last week.
Citrus Australia’s SA Regional
Forum was held at the Waikerie
Golf Club last Wednesday, with
growers, packers, industry leaders
and politicians all on hand to hear
Member for Chaffey and
State Opposition spokesperson
for investment and trade Tim
Whetstone attended and reported
an upbeat mood at the forum.
“The feedback from the cit-
rus forum was very positive,
with improving prices and many
growers in a strong position,” Mr
“It is great to see the Riverland
citrus industry continually
strengthening after a number of
challenging years, particularly
given the Riverland is the third
largest citrus growing region in
“It was (also) encouraging to
hear demand for seedless manda-
rins is far outstripping supply.”
Mr Whetstone said an export
panel, made up of a number of
local citrus exporters, spoke
about the South Australian citrus
industry being well positioned to
take advantage of new and emerg-
ing international markets, “par-
ticularly given the low Australian
dollar and optimism within the
He said citrus growers at the
forum reiterated the importance
and benefits of South Australia’s
pest freedom status being rec-
ognised in China.
Mobile meter reading
Riverland irrigators have been
trialling an new mobile phone
meter reading tool recently –
and have provided “extremely
positive feedback” about the
The Department of Environment,
Water and Natural Resources
(DEWNR) launched their new meter
read form to make it easier for people
to do meter self-reads.
“We know that there were some
issues with the previous online tool,
but we’ve taken on board the feedback
and have continued to develop the
service,” said Mike Fuller, DEWNR
water licensing program manger.
“You can save the meter read form
as an icon on your mobile screen,
which makes it a tap away and taking
photos of the meter dials can be done
as you do the reading.”
More than 40 per cent of January
readings were submitted online, with
the remainder completed by telephone,
email, facsimile or drop-in.
“We will also be providing water
usage advice in the future, which will
be a summary of remaining water to
date, so water users can see how much
of their water allocation remains for
the year,” Mr Fuller said.
Water users will be required to make
their next reading this month.
Mid-way through census
Mallee cereal crop
farmers are mid-way
through the first ever
national mouse census.
Grain growers have begun
recording mouse activity on
their properties as part of
Mouse Census Week which
aims to provide the grains
industry and researchers
with a bank of data about
pest activity in agricultural
areas across the country.
The census, initiated
by the Invasive Animals
Centre with the support of
the Grains Research and
is occurring before and
during seeding of winter
crops – a critical time for
locating mouse ‘hot spots’
and determining whether
numbers are at levels that
could pose a risk to new-
Farmers can sign up for
MouseAlert at the web-
site (mousealert.org.au) or
download the FeralScan app
which features MouseAlert
(available in the iTunes
Mouse Census Week fin-
ishes this Sunday, April 19.
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