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The River News, Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - 9
The Webster (American)
dictionary defines pride as "a lofty
and often arrogant assumption of
superiority in some respect".
The Collins (English) dictionary
defines it similarly as "too high an
opinion of oneself, inordinate self-
Riverlanders tend to be bashful
about success; keen to avoid the
Pride sits uncomfortably with
most and yet it is one of the key
words on the front cover of the
recently released Riverland Wine
publication Vineyard to the world.
As readers know, over the
past 18 months Riverland Wine
has joined with the Australian
Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA)
to promote the region's vines,
wines, people and 'riverscapes' to
groups of international wine writers,
educators, buyers and sommeliers.
Two groups have recently spent
time in the region, meeting growers
and winemakers, seeing real
vineyards and real wineries, tasting
some of our outstanding wines and
being stunned at our scenery and
Without exception the most
common sentiment among the
visitors is that of surprise. Surprise
that the region is such a major
contributor to the Australian wine
industry; surprise that production
standards are so high; surprise at
the passion of winegrowers and
winemakers for their vineyards,
wines and technology; surprise
at the level of environmental
sensitivity and wonder at the unique
and ancient riverscapes.
They ask why these features are
such well-hidden secrets.
The following is a brief excerpt
of a note sent last week from
Camilla Coste, the European events
manager for AGWA, who recently led
a group of visitors to the region from
the UK, Ireland, Finland, France,
Poland and Norway.
"Sorry it's taken me so long to
send my thanks to you. I wanted
to take this opportunity to send
you a huge 'thank you' and
congratulations for organising and
hosting us in your wonderful region.
"The group and I truly enjoyed
our time in the Riverland and were
overwhelmed by the exceptional
hospitality we received.
"It was an eye-opener for me,
too, and I am looking forward to
hopefully being able to send more
guests to this part of the world.
"I can speak on behalf of the
group when I tell you that everyone
was so impressed with the wines
they tried and thoroughly enjoyed
meeting the people who make
"The commitment to the
environment and the sheer passion
that was transmitted by our hosts
during our short trip was a direct
example of what is being done
in the region to promote these
"The hospitality we received
at Paringa House and the brilliant
flights on our last day were a
standout for the group.
"Everyone has gone back to
their home countries now, but I can
tell you that our guests will have
memories of this visit for a very
Perhaps a little pride and self
promotion could be a good thing?
NOW IS THE TIME TO...
Continue on with your protective
spray program, paying particular
attention to powdery mildew.
Thorough coverage and timing
early in the season is critical in
preventing disease outbreaks later.
Many blocks are either flowering
or finishing flowering, which means
certain products are having WHP
restriction windows closing rapidly,
especially botrytis controls.
If you had botrytis last vintage,
spore carryover into a new season
is more likely, hence consider your
control options now before these
Also, keep an eye out for light
brown apple moth (LBAM) in
developing bunches. Look for the
little web and curling structures that
may indicate LBAM is present.
If enough of the pest is
detected, it may warrant a control.
More information on LBAM
is available on the Australian
Grape and Wine Authority website
Water management must also
be a focus, with growth stages
approaching fruit set.
Renowned scientist and
educator Peter Dry, in his
presentation and discussion
with Riverland growers earlier in
the year, was very forthright in
correlating increased fruit quality
with planned, measured, controlled
levels of vine stress in the
immediate post fruit set period --
without significantly compromising
A mild level of stress post fruit
set helped the vines switch their
growth cycle from vegetative into
fruit development and ripening.
Consider the amount of water
and nutrition applied in terms of
vine vigour. Why spend money
growing a massive canopy, only
to spend more time and money
trimming it off a few weeks later?
AGWA management conducted
a Regional Programme Partners'
Day last week in Adelaide.
Regional representatives from
around the country were invited
to come together to witness some
of the high-level services offered
to our industry, and to talk with
scientists about some of the latest
grape and wine research covering
topics around flavour, colour,
tannin and low-alcohol wine yeast
CSIRO's Peter Clingleffer, well
known to many in the Riverland
from his days at Merbein,
conducted a tasting of four wines all
made from the same shiraz clone
but grown on different root stocks.
The differences between the four
wines were remarkable.
Harley Smith, working in the
area of nematode resistance
screening, used the microscope
to illustrate just how destructive
these tiny creatures can be in the
After seeing the work being
undertaken in the laboratories,
the group went to the vineyard to
see some of the robotic tools that
progressive growers will be using in
the Riverland in the not too distant
The first of these was a ground-
based, battery-powered, memory
laden moon-lander device that
drives itself around the vineyard,
mapping the terrain, estimating
yields, identifying stronger and
weaker patches and storing it all for
download and interpretation back
This unit is well supported
by a small drone, loaded with a
multispectral camera that flies
over the vineyard, also mapping
the terrain, observing stronger
and weaker patches and providing
intelligence for the ground-based
There is a good chance, if the
RVTG speaks to the right people,
that part of next year's extension
program will be a demonstration
of some of these tools normally
associated with lunar landings and
Stay tuned for further updates.
Citrus Australia - SA Regional Wrap
Season Update -- November
Free online training -- building a better
business: As part of the Horticulture -- the Next
Generation Leadership Program, Horticulture
Australia is offering horticulture businesses the
opportunity to undertake a range of free online
There are only 100 places available for the
nine courses on offer: Leadership Development
Process, Team Development Process, Personal
Improvement Process, Self Confidence, Business
Improvement Process, Sales Performance,
Continuous Improvement Process and Marketing
and Sales Process.
Applications will close on Sunday, November
30. To register, visit: www.horticulture-
For further information, contact HAL Project
Leader Russell Cummings (phone 0414 929 585
or email russell@horticulture-nextgeneration.
Orchard management: Stage one -- November
to December: Fruit growth, fruit cell division
and physiological fruit drop. One of the most
important factors affecting fruit size is the crop
Eighty to 90 per cent of potential fruit size at
harvest is determined by the end of December.
A heavy crop load will result in small fruit
at harvest. Assessment of the crop load (fruit
density counts from January onwards) is
essential to determine what management inputs
are required to achieve the best fruit size.
How to measure crop load: A counting frame is
required (0.5m0.5m square with invisible lines
from each side of the square into a point at the
trunk, left hand and forearm held upright bent
at elbow, right hand touch left elbow = counting
The procedure is as follows:
Measure crop load when fruitlets are 10-
15mm in diameter.
Place counting frame against the canopy
at a height of 1m to 2.5m from the ground.
Count two to three frames on both sides of
the tree (four to six frames per tree).
Repeat the frame counts in the same area
and height for 20 trees per variety/rootstock
combination or patch.
Add up the number of fruits in each frame
count then divide by the number of frames
counted to get an average fruit density count
(fruit counts 800 x frames 80 = average fruit
density of 10 fruit per frame).
Thinning should be considered if the
average fruit count is greater than about eight to
10 fruitlets per frame for oranges, or for imperial
mandarins eight to 10 fruitlets.
Chemical thinning: Various chemical thinning
options are available to correct alternate heavy
and light bearing crops such as Corasil, Ethrel,
For further information on the different
chemical control options, please contact your
IDO as this will depend on variety, crop load,
climatic conditions, etc.
Hand thinning: Hand thinning is the last
management tool available to manipulate crop
load and increase fruit size before harvest. Once
the fruit growth cycle passes from cell division
(October to December) into cell expansion
(January to May), the cells inside the fruit stop
dividing or multiplying. Therefore the fruit has
a predetermined final size as early as January,
providing the trees are not stressed.
For the most effect on fruit size, hand
thinning should be conducted as early as
Nutrition: Apply 25 per cent of annual nitrogen
in November after fruit set and at the end of the
vegetative growth flush.
Calcium nitrate is preferable to ammonium
nitrate and urea, as these forms of nitrogen
compete with the uptake of calcium potentially
leading to albedo breakdown issues.
If fertigating, apply the remaining
phosphorous (50 per cent) at monthly intervals
from October onwards.
Ensure adequate supply of calcium to reduce
Apply 30 to 50 per cent of annual potassium
after fruit reaches 10mm in size.
Apply foliar micronutrient sprays as needed.
Experience shows that foliar sprays of
potassium phosphite or MAP in November will
improve fruit size.
Potassium nitrate sprays should be applied
For more citrus management information,
Pests: October to December is the critical time
to monitor pest activity and implement control if
thresholds are exceeded. IMP is encouraged to
maintain a balance of beneficial parasites.
Light brown apple moth, kaydid, thrips and
mealy bug control should be implemented if
monitoring thresholds exceed 15 per cent, and
applied before calyx closure.
Red scale (and other soft scales): November/
December is the ideal period to release aphytis
melinus to control red scale.
If monitoring thresholds exceed 10 to 15 per
cent, summer oil should be applied.
Ensure to apply by December, as oil must be
applied three to four weeks before the coming
summer GA application.
Navelinas should be targeted first.
Contact your service provider if you are
intending on using pesticides such as Movento.
Australian citrus to Korea, China and Thailand:
Preparation of orchards for registration for
export to Korea, China and Thailand (KCT) this
coming season must commence in December.
All growers must implement an integrated pest
management (IPM) program.
Requirements from now until harvest include:
Knowledge of the pests and diseases of
concern detailed in the DAFF work plans for each
importing country (packer usually provides this
information). Fuller's rose weevil is the main pest
of concern for all markets.
Monthly monitoring and recording of the
results for critical pests of concern and other
pests should be listed on records (this includes
the use of beat mats).
Trees must be skirted at least 50cm high
and less than one in 20 trees in contact with
Weed control and orchard hygiene must be
maintained to prevent bridging into the canopy.
Applying in-field controls for pests of
quarantine concern should include documented
evidence of biological or chemical controls.
A survey of all new orchards must be done
to determine the status of FRW prior to entering
If FRW is detected, the FRW program should
be implemented for all markets from December
The FRW program includes:
Skirting and weed control.q Trunk band
Apply spray to the lower trunk in December
and again every six weeks until harvest.
Karate, Trojan, and Matador are registered
for lemons and oranges. For mandarins and
grapefruit, several carbaryl products are
Mix kaolin with sprays to improve chemical
persistence and to identify coverage and spray
drift. Apply 250ml spray solution to the tree
trunk at about 300mm from the ground in a
Spray diary must be retained and
presented upon audit.
Where an orchard can demonstrate that
the orchard was free from FRW in the previous
season, trunk band spraying is not required.
GRAIN growers are being reminded to
remain vigilant with pest management, even
though harvest is already under way in parts
of the southern cropping region.
The Grains Research and Development Corpo-
ration (GRDC) says pests at this time of the year
pose a risk as grain contaminants, and ongoing
weed control will be required to reduce the likeli-
hood of pest populations and associated viruses
surviving over the summer months.
Entomologists supported by the GRDC say
crops approaching swathing and harvest remain
prone to pests, often as grain contaminants.
One of them is Garry McDonald, who says adult
bronzed field beetles emerging from infestations
earlier this year in some areas of southern New
South Wales and northern Victoria could begin
accumulating under and in windrows.
Dr McDonald said rutherglen bugs -- native in-
sects that attack a wide range of weeds and crops
in the warmer months -- can also become a pest
and grain contaminant when in high numbers.
He said crops -- especially canola, linseed and
sunflowers -- should be checked over the coming
weeks and, if the insect is present in large num-
bers, contamination can be minimised by attach-
ing screens to headers or by harvesting at night.
Stored grain pests and their management
should remain front of mind this harvest and
beyond, according to PestFacts SA and Western
Victoria co-ordinator Bill Kimber from the South
Australian Research and Development Institute
(SARDI) entomology unit.
Mr Kimber said stored grain insects could pose
a serious threat to grain quality, and therefore
careful management of the storage environment
"Generally, good hygiene, aeration cooling and
correct fumigation can prevent or overcome many
problems with storage pests," he said.
The widespread use of phosphine has resulted
in the development of high levels of resistance in
a number of stored grain pests.
To help manage resistance, ensure phosphine
is only used when necessary, and fumigation must
be conducted in pressure-tested, sealable gas-tight
silos. More information on management of stored
grain insects is available via the GRDC Stored
Grain Information Hub (www.storedgrain.com.au).
Beyond the immediate harvest, both Dr McDon-
ald and Mr Kimber stress the need for efforts to
eliminate the "green bridge" over summer.
Comprising weeds and volunteer crop plants
that form a mass of vegetation which grows along
roadsides, in water courses, paddock perimeters,
as well as headlands and other non-cropped areas
of land, the green bridge offers a refuge to insect
pests and the viruses they sometimes carry, as well
as other diseases such as rusts.
To assist growers with green bridge reduction,
the Summer Fallow Weed Management manual
is available for viewing and downloading via the
GRDC website (www.grdc.com.au/GRDC-Manual-
SummerFallowWeedManagement). Further in-
formation on effective weed control is available
at the GRDC's new Integrated Weed Management
Hub (www.grdc.com.au/IWMhu), along with the
WeedSmart website (www.weedsmart.org.au).
RUTHERGLEN bugs can become a grain contaminant
when present in high numbers. PHOTO: GRDC
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