Home' The Loxton News : January 28th 2016 Contents 10 RURAL
The Loxton News, Thursday, January 28, 2016
AUSTRALIAN WINE EXPORTS JUMP
14 PER CENT TO $2.1 BILLION
The Wine Australia Export
Report December 2015 shows
that the value of Australian wine
exports jumped 14 per cent to
$2.1 billion in 2015, reaching its
highest value since October 2007.
Wine Australia CEO Andreas
Clark said: “Pleasingly, our latest
Export Report shows that the value
of Australian wine exports grew in
each of the top 15 export markets
in the year ended December 31,
“This export growth should be
warmly welcomed by the Australian
grape growing and winemaking
community as it is largely a result
of their hard work.
“Our global team is committed
to working with wine businesses
to capture export opportunities
and we encourage businesses to
contact us to discuss how we can
The strongest growth was in
China, which grew 66 per cent to
$370 million. The value of exports
increased at each price point and
the largest increase was in wines
with a free on board (FOB) value
over $10 per litre. Sales of these
wines grew by 35 per cent to a
record $480 million. They now
make up 23 per cent of the value
of Australia’s wine exports.
There were 1517 active export-
ers in 2015 (up from 1395 in
2014) and Australian wine was
exported to 122 destinations.
The top five markets by value
are: USA, 4 per cent increase to
$443 million; UK (Australia’s num-
ber one market by volume), 0.2
per cent increase to $376 million;
China, 66 per cent increase to
$370 million; Canada, 7 per cent
increase to $193 million; Hong
Kong, 22 per cent increase to
Read next week’s column as we
begin to explore just why so many
of the best wine growers and pro-
ducers are not feeling the joy.
NOW IS THE TIME
Now is the time to prepare for
harvest. All the hard work bringing
the vines from pruning to fruition is
The next two months are the
culmination of all this work.
Irrigation is still a vital activi-
ty. Although the season, so far,
has had several hot periods with
high water use, and water budgets
being thoroughly tested, we can
still expect long periods of very hot
weather, with February usually the
Adequate water is necessary to
ensure maximum leaf function: to
ripen grapes as quickly as possible
and make sure vines are in the
best condition for next year.
Baume sampling is one of the
most important activities leading
up to harvest.
Sampling should be thorough
and performed to accurately rep-
resent the ripeness of the patch.
If the patch is large or uneven,
perform multiple samples to get a
good feel for each block. Wineries
can impose penalties for inaccu-
rate results or if the load does not
meet minimum sugar levels.
Baume tests should be conduct-
ed weekly, or even twice weekly as
harvest nears, in the cool of the
day and with properly calibrated
Other activities such as making
sure final spray diary forms have
been sent to the winery, getting
PMS supplies and grape delivery
advice books are all part of har-
Harvester set up and operation
is vital to make sure vine damage
is minimal and MOG is limited.
Excessive MOG can attract signifi-
cant penalties and can be avoided
by attention to the operation of the
harvester. Make sure you discuss
this issue with the harvest oper-
ator before commencing harvest.
DO YOUR TRAINING
Riverland Horticultural Council,
trading as GrowSmart Training pro-
vides training in: horticulture and
production horticulture; conserva-
tion and land management; and
short courses for ChemCert, ver-
tebrate pest management, chain-
saws, quad bikes and leadership.
Two-day ChemCert Courses for
2016 will be held in April, June,
September and December. Half
day ChemCert re-accreditation
courses will be held in April, June,
September and December.
One-day chainsaw courses will
be conducted in February, April,
June, August and October.
From January 1, 2016 training
subsidies are available for train-
ing with non-TAFE providers in
Certificate lll in Horticulture. For
more information please contact
Trevor Noble, Manager GrowSmart
Training 8584 5147 or email (tno-
Learn to be a Leader is a new
course introduced in 2016 and
is intended for people who are
considering a leading role in their
organisation – aspiring leaders,
middle management, line man-
The course is designed for par-
ticipants to discover their individ-
ual leadership style and how to
maximise their individual charac-
ter traits to lead the way in busi-
ness, the community and life.
To register or for more infor-
mation please contact Brian
Featherston, Course Leader 0401
122 969 or email (brian@cleverlit-
SAFEWORK SA NEEDS YOUR HELP
SafeWork SA is conducting
research to examine the current
awareness, perceptions and needs
of the SA community in relation to
work health and safety education
As part of this project, SafeWork
SA is seeking input to help
enhance their service delivery to
ensure that workplaces gain maxi-
mum benefit from their education
SafeWork SA has appointed
an independent market research
company Square Holes to conduct
this research on their behalf. Over
the coming weeks businesses may
be contacted to request partici-
pation in an interview or a focus
All information provided as part
of this process will remain confi-
dential and will not be divulged to
other parties and any information
provided will only be used for the
If you receive a call, please give
a little of your time to help. The
cost of an accident to you or a
worker will be much more than you
or your business can afford. Your
contribution may save a life.
Citrus Australia - SA Regional Wrap
CASAR GROWER WORKSHOP
Make sure you keep Tuesday, February 9 free for
CASAR’s next grower workshops. They’ll be held at two
locations, the first at 9am at Pyap Produce at 2743
Kingston Road, Loxton. The afternoon session will be held
at 4pm at GM Arnold and Sons, starting at 343 Ramco
Citrus nutrition will be the focus of the day, presented
by Steve Falivene. He will share his research in potassium
nutrient application, the smooth rind project and discuss
nutritional requirements from now until spring. This is
a great opportunity to ask questions specific to your
orchard’s fertiliser needs.
Mark Skewes will also present information about root-
stock trials specific to our region. There will be field walks
to follow the presentations. In Waikerie they will focus on
KCT preparations and using Surround kaolin clay for sun
The Loxton field walk will look at the effectiveness of
bee exclusion netting on seediness of afourer mandarins,
KCT preparations and how effective the netting has been
to reduce blemish.
There will be a barbecue and refreshments at both
workshops, but please RSVP by Friday, February 5 to Ryan
Arnold on 0438 841 355.
REGIONAL FORUM - APRIL 2016
The South Australian Citrus Industry Regional Forum
will be held on April 13, 2016. Some of the topics to be
Packers question and answer panel
Update on Fruit Fly & SIT
Updating the SA citrus industry’s Strategic Plan
Update on market access issues
Planting statistics in Australia
The impact of exchange rates on grower returns
More information will be released closer to the date.
Keep an eye on future editions of this column for updates.
FAREWELL & THANKS
CASAR would like to inform the South Australian citrus
growers that one of the committee members, Penny Smith,
The committee would like to express its sincere thanks
and appreciation to Penny for her valued contribution to
the citrus industry and the committee. We wish Penny all
the best for the future.
WHICH R&D PROJECTS WOULD HELP YOU?
In this column in November we mentioned the discus-
sions which were being held with senior staff at Adelaide
University’s Waite Campus to determine how the citrus
industry and the university could work collaboratively on
relevant research projects.
A number of projects were flagged and we’d like to
have some feedback from growers about which ones they
believe would add value to their business.
Below is a short summary of the potential projects.
Developing a methodology for the early detection of
diseases in citrus trees which would be faster and more
comprehensive than plant-based identification. It could
allow rapid and cost-effective screening of entire orchards
rather than expensive lab analysis and could avoid quality
and productivity losses.
Researching soil, sensors and models to enable
precision irrigation and management of the inter-row for
water while also increasing resilience against climate
change. This project would test and validate under real-
istic field conditions, precision irrigation techniques that
deliver water when and where it is needed, soil and plant
moisture sensors that inform irrigation scheduling models
to optimise orchard water use and tree water use efficien-
cy as well as options for inter-row management to reduce
Improving the water productivity of citrus orchards
and citrus fruit quality in South Australia by investigating
the use of conventional and deficit irrigation strategies
informed by environmental, soil and plant-based sensors
for high spatial and temporal water delivery to citrus trees.
The proposed strategy is expected to: (i) increase
the water productivity and water use efficiency of citrus
orchards by using less water resulting in both water and
financial savings; and, (ii) increase citrus fruit yield by
optimising irrigation scheduling (frequency and volume
per application based on soil type, variety and rootstock).
Anticipated benefits of reduced irrigation on citrus fruit
quality include higher soluble solids, titratable acidity and
fruit firmness, and reduced albedo (peel) breakdown.
This project uses a multi-disciplinary approach com-
bining proximal and remote-sensing, fruit tree physiology,
irrigation water management, and pre and post-harvest
fruit physiology to improve the productivity and profitability
of South Australian citrus orchards and citrus fruit quality.
Development of a tool/s for the citrus industry either
as smartphone/tablet application or devices mounted to
mobile equipment such as tractors or motorbike. These
apps would be able to measure tree productivity, detect
disease and help manage water. This project has the
potential to generate a rapid, cost-effective, non-destruc-
tive, multi-modular package for growers, reducing manage-
ment costs and increasing competitiveness.
Aid the South Australian citrus industry through the
production of more drought tolerant/heat tolerant variet-
ies. The broad idea is to develop an understanding of how
(an) isohydric plasticity is regulated in different varieties
and if some varieties could be manipulated through man-
agement to become less sensitive to water deficit and
heat stress. This could help maintain yield and quality
during extreme weather events which are predicted to
increase due to climate change.
Developing new technology and a tool to detect frost
damage in citrus fruit using non-destructive techniques.
This could help improve profitability by being able to target
inputs for trees that have not suffered significant fruit
CITRUS AUSTRALIA’S CEO – E-NEWS
In the first Citrus Australia e-news for 2016, chief exec-
utive officer Judith Damiani expressed optimism for the
season ahead, particularly with the Australian Dollar below
US70 cents and tariff cuts in China, Japan and Korea.
“Navel and mandarin crops are looking reasonable
at this early stage and I am optimistic last year’s export
record of 200,000 tonnes, valued at $275 million, can be
exceeded this year,” she stated. “Despite these positive
signs, we must remain vigilant and ensure quality, safe
fruit is delivered to our customers in Australia and around
“Citrus Australia is busy with pre-season activities
including regional visits, export registration, crop forecast-
ing and finalising the Citrus Market Outlook Forum, which
will be held in Sydney on March 16-17.
“Kurt Huang, Huizhan Fruit Market, Shanghai, has been
confirmed as a keynote speaker and will provide the latest
insights into the China market.”
More details about the Forum can be found via the
MDBA total storage decreased
by 97GL this week, with the ac-
tive storage currently 3248GL
(39 per cent capacity).
Dartmouth Reservoir’s storage
volume decreased by 46GL this
week to 1856GL (48 per cent
Releases from Yarrawonga
Weir have varied between
10,250ML/day and 9700ML/
day to introduce some variabil-
ity to downstream river heights,
while maintaining sufficient
flow to meet downstream de-
Weir the flow
day. Lock 15
at Euston will
be closed for approximately 16
weeks starting from the end
of January to enable refurbish-
ment of the lock chamber.
The lock will be closed to boat
traffic throughout the duration
of these works.
On the Darling River, total
storage at Menindee Lakes fell
by 2GL to a storage volume of
65GL (4 per cent capacity).
Water users in this region are
reminded that a red alert warn-
ing for blue green algae at sev-
eral sites at Menindee Lakes
and along the lower Darling is
At Lock 9, the weir pool is cur-
rently targeting about 10cm
below Full Supply Level. At Lock
8, the weir pool is currently
around 70cm below FSL and is
planned to be further lowered
to 80cm below FSL over the
coming weeks. Lock 7 remains
50 cm below FSL. These chang-
es are part of an on-going weir
pool variability trial.
The storage volume at Lake
Victoria fell this week by 24GL
to 457GL (68 per cent ca-
pacity). The average flow to
South Australia increased to
Berri 220EC units, Morgan
280, Mannum 410, Mannum
RIVER MURRAY WATER REPORT
Wednesday, January 20
Local harvest done and dusted
by Stephanie Thompson
Another grain harvest
is done and dusted, with
average and below-average
crops recorded for local
Local grain grower Tom
Fielke said a mix of weather
events late in the growing sea-
son caused the below-average
“Obviously the hot weather
Loxton Show weekend caused
a fair bit of damage (and there
was) also frost damage in late
August,” he said.
“With the wheat, we were
probably down 40 per cent.
Having said that, the barley was
quite good, so that was about
“The pulses were down as
well mainly due to the frost.”
Loxton experienced four con-
secutive days above 35C at the
start of October, while little rain
was recorded in the weeks prior.
“The season was tracking
quite nicely until probably late
September. Then we missed out
on that late September rain,” Mr
“Obviously the spring rains
didn’t eventuate and that was
our problem again.
“All in all, with the season that
we had, it could have been a lot,
While barley crops were aver-
age for the region, Mr Fielke
said peas, vetch and canola were
the hardest hit by the weather
“Canola was obviously better
than last year because we didn’t
have the beet western yellow
virus,” he said.
“It just ran out of moisture and
then the frost got a bit of it.”
Mr Fielke said he sold a
majority of his grain privately
“Prices were basically same
as they were 10 years ago. But,
the domestic market seemed to
be better during harvest than
what the export market was
offering,” he said.
“It happens every now and
While local farmers would
ideally like some rain soon for
sub-soil moisture, Mr Fielke
said rain would be welcomed in
March and April.
“Ideally, the middle of March
would be nice,” he said.
“It can rain the day after the
grape growers have finished
picking their grapes.”
Bulla Burra’s John Gladigau
said despite low rainfall for
the 2015 growing season, most
crops were “close to average”.
“We had less than 70 per cent
average rainfall,” he said.
“This season was a testament
to Mallee farmers.
“The hot October weekend
and frost took the edge off what
could have been a reasonable
Viterra’s eastern region opera-
tions manager Jack Tansley said
more than 728,000 tonnes of
grain was received across the
sites, including Tookayerta.
“Quality of grain received this
harvest was varied due to the
seasonal conditions,” he said.
“Tailem Bend remains open
for receivals and a few key sites
across the Eastern Region are
open by appointment.
“Sites are now focussed on
maintaining the quality of the
grain in storage and moving it
to meet shipping requirements.”
Mr Tansley thanked strate-
gic site committee chairper-
sons who shared information
between growers and Viterra.
“It was a relatively smooth
and safe harvest thanks to the
efforts of growers, carriers and
Viterra staff,” he said.
A total of 5,812,292.91
tonnes has been received for
the 2015/16 season in South
Australia through Viterra.
Local collaborative farming business Bulla Burra snapped this
sunset photo while harvesting the grain crop in December.
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