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The River News, Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 9
The executive officer of Riverland
Wine, Chris Byrne, master of
ceremonies at this year’s Riverland
Wine Show gala dinner (held on
September 17) nearly fell off his
chair when it was announced he was
this year’s recipient of the 2014 JMA
Engineering Riverland Wine Award.
Chris has been a tireless
ambassador for the Riverland for
His drive and passion representing
Riverland winemakers and grape
growers’ interests at regional, state
and national levels has been typical of
his ‘quiet achiever’ approach.
Chris has been a unifying force in
the regional wine industry; realising
that a strong, unified wine industry
offers the best hope for all players for
He was pivotal in unifying the
local grower and winemaker bodies
into a single group, now referred to
as Riverland Wine, which now has a
level of strategic professionalism that
is widely known and respected in the
The Riverland Wine Show gala
dinner is one of the highlight events of
the year for the region’s winemakers,
viticulturists and growers.
It is an opportunity to sample the
best wines the Riverland produces and
spend a night with industry colleagues
The major award of the night is
the JMA Engineering Riverland Wine
This award is judged by past
recipients of the silverware, who
unanimously supported the winner of
this year’s award.
The recipient must have contributed
to the Riverland wine industry well
beyond normal expectations, and their
actions must lead to lasting change.
There is no question that Chris not
only met but surpassed the criteria.
Under Chris’s leadership, the
Riverland wine industry has taken
its rightful place as producer of more
than 20 per cent of the national
At the forefront of Australian wine
industry representative organisations,
Riverland Wine, the joint winemaker
and grape grower organisation, is
now acknowledged as the best led
and funded organisation, with high
credibility and effectiveness.
“There is no avoiding the fact
that, like most of the industry, the
Riverland region faces very tough
times at present,” said Riverland Wine
chairman Brian Walsh.
“While there are challenges for all
involved in the wine industry across
the nation, Chris Byrne is optimistic
about the long-term future for the
Riverland, and continues to dedicate
his drive and passion to achieve the
future that he believes this region so
“There is no doubt that, with a
servant like Chris at the helm, the
region is in the best possible hands
during such times.
“As the saying goes, adversity does
not build character. It reveals it.”
As growers may be aware, the
Riverland Viticulture Technical Group
(RVTG) has been working on a hard-
to-kill weeds project focusing on
The original gazania trial site had
some issues arise prior to spraying.
For unknown reasons, the weeds
started showing signs of severe stress,
making them unreceptive to the
This site was abandoned, and a
new site at Century Orchards was set
up and pegged out, ready for the trial
Unfortunately the second site was
hit hard with five consecutive frosts
and temperatures as low as -5C,
only days before spraying was due to
The majority of gazanias dropped
their flowers (or petals) and showed
signs of severe stress.
This outlines the climatic and
agronomic issues that growers have
controlling these weeds.
The RVTG feel it would be
irresponsible to run a herbicide trial
on stressed weeds with industry funds
– the outcome would be meaningless.
Other suitable sites for this trial are
being sought for the trial to continue.
The herbicide trial needs to start
prior to the summer heat, otherwise
it cannot start again until possibly
If any grower knows of a site,
measuring approximately 20sq m to
30sq m, with good gazania distribution
and moderate to high weed density,
contact Matt Ward (0429 041 645) or
Riverland Wine (8584 6399) as soon
NOW IS THE TIME...
Earwigs: Grape growers throughout
the region are reporting abnormal
growth on young shoots.
In most cases it has been caused
by early damage from earwigs.
Earwigs are usually a beneficial
insect, and should be left well alone.
When earwigs reach epidemic
proportions, as they have in many
cases this season, some control may
Growers should check with their
grape purchaser prior to applying
controls, to ensure that an acceptable
option is used.
In most instances bait applied
around the base of the vine can be
adequate to control numbers until
shoots grow to over 100mm long.
At that stage, earwigs are not a
Downy mildew: As mentioned in
the CropWatch message, conditions
were marginal for downy mildew
infection across the region but, given
the huge variability in rainfall and soil
wetness, growers would do well to
monitor for the appearance of any oil
spots from a primary infection.
It is possible that an infection may
have developed in some vineyards if
conditions were suitable.
If oil spots do appear, they are likely
to do so in the first few days of October.
If downy mildew is found, growers
would do well to discuss options with
their grape purchaser or adviser.
Downy mildew infections early
in the season can be particularly
damaging and lead to later crop loss.
A careful approach to early disease
eradication is the best option.
THE winner drawn
from thousands of
entries to the South
industry’s Buy a Local
received her new car
The Buy a Local Orange
campaign, which ran from
May 19 to September 12,
saw eligible shoppers
car, a luxury Riverland
holiday and a range of new
Citrus Australia SA
Region (CASAR) chair
Con Poulos said feedback
from the 300 retail outlets
that participated in the
campaign was extremely
positive, and indicated
a strong response from
“We received thousands
of entries during the
promotion,” Mr Poulos
said. “The whole campaign
was focused around
increasing awareness and
demand for our citrus,
and encouraging South
Australian shoppers to
“Indications are very
strong that our efforts
were a big success, and
we expect this will be
reflected in local citrus
Mr Poulos said
that — in addition
to the partnerships
with Foodland, IGA,
sponsors and the Adelaide
Produce Markets —
the campaign had also
enjoyed support from
the South Australian
Agriculture) Leon Bignell
was there for the launch
of our campaign, and
has continued to provide
for which we’re very
grateful,” he added.
Local orange campaign gives away car
The Grains Research and
Development Corporation (GRDC) is
recognised around the globe for its
investment in pioneering grains-related
research, development and extension.
What it is perhaps less widely known for
is its extensive support of organisations
running conferences that directly benefit
the Australian grains industry.
GRDC communication manager Kylie
Dunstan says the GRDC each year provides
sponsorship assistance to numerous and
varied organisations which aim to inform
and up-skill grains industry stakeholders.
“In recent years, the GRDC has supported
a broad range of events, from precision
agriculture symposiums, farmer health
conferences, fertiliser and milling forums,
to sustainable food summits, women’s
agronomy workshops and cereal chemistry
conferences,” she said.
“The GRDC recognises the importance
and value of such events and activities,
which are designed to develop the skills and
capacity of many people within our industry.
“We are also well aware that for many of
the organisations conducting these events,
financial support is essential.”
To ease the financial burden, the GRDC
offers two rounds of funding annually.
Application closing dates are the last
Wednesday of October and the first
Wednesday of April in each calendar year
(regardless of the date the conference will
Conference award applicants therefore
have until Wednesday, October 29, to finalise
this year’s applications to the GRDC.
Applicants will be notified of the decision
within six weeks of the application closing
date. For more information, contact Maressa
Carey on (02) 6166 4500 or at maressa.carey@
grdc.com.au, or visit: http://grdc.com.au/
GRDC conference support applications close October 29
The Grass-Roots Agronomy for Women in
Farm Business workshops run by Agrilink
SA consultant Lou Flohr have benefited from
GRDC funding support. PHOTO: Supplied
Conference support applications open
CASAR representative Penny Smith (left) with Buy a Local
Orange competition first prize winner Viviana Graney, of
Beverley, and Hyundai representative Peter Jackson.
CITRUS SUCCeSS: Lochert Bros Pty Ltd won a range of awards
at the Royal Adelaide Show recently, including champion carton
of citrus. Pictured is Robert Lochert (centre) with quality control
officers Kirsty Fridd and Ailsa Kernich.
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