Home' The River News : December 24th 2014 Contents 10 - The River News, Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Citrus Australia - SA Regional Wrap
TARIFF CUTS SWEETEN EXPORTS
Australian orange growers could significantly
expand their export opportunities in South Korea
after tariff cuts were passed as a result of the
Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA).
The reductions will see tariffs on oranges
drop from 50 to 30 per cent, with a further 5
per cent reduction to take effect on January 1
The tariff will be eliminated entirely over a
Citrus Australia CEO Judith Damiani said the
reduction in tariffs would give Australian citrus
exporters a jump on their competitors going into
the 2015 season.
"Trade to South Korea has been erratic in
the past 10 years, with exporters having faced
serious competitive pressures from other trad-
ing nations such as South Africa and Chile,"
"The tariff reduction means we can offer a
more competitive price point, which will help
expand Australia's trade into South Korea.
"It's really important that our industry -- par-
ticularly our exporters -- take a fresh look at the
opportunities in South Korea now that tariffs
Ms Damiani added that South Korea had a
sophisticated retail sector, with supermarkets
offering their consumers high-end, quality
"Retailers focus on providing their custom-
ers with 'high brix' products, which essen-
tially means sweeter citrus products," she said.
"While the United States has led the way in
developing high brix programs into South Korea,
Australian citrus is catching up, and we now have
similar technology that has already proved suc-
cessful in Japan."
Ms Damiani expressed her gratitude to the
Australian Government's trade minister Andrew
Robb and Seoul-based agricultural counsellor
Joanne Pearce, who have worked hard to get the
tariff reductions over the line.
Growers wanting to export to South Korea
are encouraged to contact Citrus Australia's
market access manager, David Daniels, for
advice on preparing their orchards for the 2015
Exporters wanting to ship citrus to South
Korea should send expressions of interest to Mr
Daniels as soon as possible.
WATER ALLOCATION PLAN
The SA NRM Board has undertaken a review
of the Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray
Prescribed Watercourse, and a draft plan is now
available for comment.
Your feedback is wanted on the draft plan.
The board has worked closely with the De-
partment of Environment, Water and Natural
Resources (DEWNR) and the board's community-
based River Murray Advisory Committee (RMAC)
throughout the review of the plan.
The draft plan includes policies that have
been developed since the plan's adoption in
2002, and also incorporates lessons learned
during the drought.
Additional changes have been required for
consistency with legislation.
The Murray-Darling Basin Plan has been
considered in the writing of the draft plan. How-
ever, full compliance with the basin plan is not
required until 2019.
A link to the draft plan can be found online
RIVERLAND SEASON UPDATE
The main fruit drop period for navels is over,
and the fruitlets are at the end of the cell division
stage with the cell expansion stage to follow.
Crop load and fruit size trends this season
are similar to last year, i.e. the season started
with a heavy flowering with the expectation of
an 'on' year.
However, significant fruit drop has occurred
throughout the southern regions.
Early crop load observations indicate an
average crop for early navels, below average for
mid-seasons and a significantly below-average
crop for late navels.
There is a very high level of variation between
blocks, with some blocks carrying good crop
levels (i.e. potentially 45 tonne/ha) while others
have barely set any fruit (i.e. one fruit per count-
The average to below-average crop loads are
expected to have good fruit size.
Mandarins started with a good flowering and
a high level of fruit set, causing some concern
of an 'on' year.
They have also had a significant fruit drop,
with average crop loads.
Red scale and Fuller's rose weevil: Grow-
ers exporting to Korea, China or Thailand must
ensure trees are skirted and apply the first trunk
band spray if required in December.
Red scale numbers have been building up
and, if exporting to Korea, blocks should be
closely monitored and an oil spray applied as
soon as possible.
Herbicide MRL levels: Last season there was
a MRL breach for herbicides on fruit in a major
Growers need to ensure that fruit is never in
direct contact with herbicides.
Spray nozzles need to be angled downwards,
and spray rigs should be shrouded.
The skirting of trees is also critical to ensure
no fruit are in the herbicide strike zone.
GA summer spray: Late December to January
is the preferred timing for a GA spray.
GA is considered an 'essential spray'.
Research has shown a 20ppm GA application
while orange fruitlets are between 30-50mm
in size (typically referred to as 'golf ball' size)
is the most effective pre-harvest treatment
to reduce the incidence of albedo and rind
GA will increase rind strength and hence im-
prove the ability of the rind to withstand puncture
and post-harvest anthracnose infection.
Spraying is best early in the morning, during
slow drying conditions.
Avoid spraying during hot spells of 40C and
above and, if necessary, wait for a cool change
It is best to apply GA three weeks after an oil
spray, or one week prior to an oil spray.
Thorough coverage of the fruit is essential,
and ensure all label recommendations are
PESTS AND DISEASES
Red scale: Red scale has already been
detected at high levels in a number of orchards.
There is potential for a high red scale year if
control measures are not taken now.
Oil sprays are best applied in the first two
weeks of December. Most of the scale has al-
Growers should also consider measures to
mitigate ant activity and consider aphytis re-
leases in trees aged seven to eight years or older.
Note: A four-week gap should be left between
insecticides and aphytis releases or between oil
and GA applications.
If you have questions about anything in this
week's column or an issue that you would like
discussed, please contact the chair Con Poulos
THE State Government is urging Riverland locals and
visitors to remain vigilant against the threat of fruit fly.
SOUTH Australians travelling to the
Riverland or returning from interstate
during the summer holidays are asked to
remain vigilant against the threat of fruit fly.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries
Leon Bignell said South Australia was the only
Australian mainland state to be fruit fly free.
"Keeping South Australia fruit fly free not only
protects the commercial production of our fruit
and vegetables, but also helps our horticultural
producers with access to lucrative export markets
such as the US, Japan and New Zealand, worth ap-
proximately $120 million a year," he said.
"If you're heading interstate for Christmas,
don't bring fruit and vegetables back with you.
And if you have friends and relatives coming to
Adelaide for Christmas from interstate, please tell
them not to bring fruit and vegetables with them.
"We will be operating random road blocks
throughout the Christmas and New Year period.
If you're carrying fruit and vegetables, you will
Mr Bignell said the State Government invested
about $5 million each year to keep fruit fly and
other plant pests out of the state.
"We know fruit flies are more active from No-
vember to March, so staff from Biosecurity SA
-- a division of PIRSA -- will be vigilant policing
the movement of fruit and vegetables during the
"As well as random road blocks, there'll be
quarantine stations, signs and disposal bins at
key locations across the state including road entry
points, airports and rail terminals."
Fines and penalties apply if you breach these
regulations and requirements. If you are carrying
fruit or vegetable produce, eat it, bin it, or declare it.
If you find maggots in fruit or vegetables, or
suspect fruit fly or other plant pests or diseases,
call the fruit fly hotline on 1300 666 010.
For more information, visit: www.pir.sa.gov.
Only the best for your crop
planning to retain
seed from this year's
harvest for sowing
next season are
encouraged to be
selective about what
Larger seeds with
high nutrient content
are recommended for
retention as they pro-
mote stronger growth
in young seedlings.
Seeds from crops
grown on more fertile
soils should also be
targeted, according to
South Australian Re-
search and Develop-
ment Institute research
leader Dr Nigel Wil-
helm, whose research
is supported by the
Grains Research and
Dr Wilhelm said
seedlings deficient of
trace elements were
generally weaker and
He said manganese
(Mn) and zinc (Zn) es-
pecially played a role
in the defence mecha-
nisms of young seed-
lings against diseases
such as rhizoctonia.
cies early can help
plants fight off the
ravages of rhizoctonia
and I think that's a real
benefit of getting seed
that's rich in Mn and
Zn," Dr Wilhelm said.
For more informa-
tion, visit: www.grdc.
A GRDC Retaining
Seed Fact Sheet is also
available online (www.
STICKING YOUR NECK OUT
It is tempting and sometimes
comforting to point out the fail-
ings of others when things are not
It is interesting, too, how the
opposite is not so true when times
Thankfully there are those bold
enough to put their hands up and
say: "I'll stick my neck out. I'll have
a go and help to change things."
There is little doubt that the
challenges we face as an industry
can be traced back to poor policy
settings in most cases.
Those who 'stick their necks
out' are having a crack at convinc-
ing each other, and then other in-
dustry leaders and sometimes poli-
ticians, that those policy settings
must be altered for the common
Policy can be at the regional,
state or federal level.
By way of example, the policy
that provided for accelerated de-
preciation of new vineyards was the
single policy most responsible for
the sustained structural imbalance
that has plagued all of us for the
best part of a decade.
Its repeal took five years too
long because industry did not work
together to measure plantings
growth, relative to sales demand,
and develop a more coherent ap-
But that is water under the
bridge. There are new challenges
for those prepared to stick their
Uncertainty around tax policy
is threatening similar long-term
Policy around water buyback
in this region is troubling for many.
Over the next few months, this
column will profile some of those
who stuck their necks out to make
If you have an idea that you
think will make a difference, stick
your neck out and say so (phone
8584 6399 or email admin@river-
These profiles will not simply
feature well-known regional identi-
ties, but many of those who work
solidly in the background to make
a difference. You could be one of
PHYLLOXERA BOARD --
ONLINE INDUSTRY KIOSK
Growers may not be aware that
there is an online mapping record
of all vineyard patches throughout
This database is managed by
the Phylloxera and Grape Industry
Board of SA (PGIBSA).
Its primary purpose is to main-
tain a register of all South Austra-
lian vineyards and to facilitate the
management of biosecurity pro-
cesses in the event of an outbreak
of disease or pests. The data is
secure and confidential.
There are, however, other po-
tential benefits arising from this
One of the perennial challenges
this industry faces is knowing ac-
curately the total area of vineyards
in the state and, very importantly,
the total by variety in each region.
This has implications for supply
and demand, and decisions being
made by wine grape growers and
There is an old saying: "If you
can't measure it, you can't manage
it." PGIBSA is to be congratulated
for the recent enhancements made
to this technology, particularly the
development of the online kiosk.
All growers can access images
and information about their own
enterprise with a few key strokes.
Take the time to log on and ex-
plore the website (www.phylloxera.
kiosk) for information.
Follow the prompts, create a
password and check out your vine-
yard, if need be.
You can even update the in-
formation to reflect any removals,
top workings, replacements or ad-
Additional information and in-
struction is also available on the
PGIBSA website or by contacting
PGIBSA on 8362 0499.
IS YOUR IRRIGATION
With the hot season almost
here, it is time to once again make
sure that irrigation systems are
It was of interest that a recently
advertised irrigation information
session failed to attract enough
interest to justify being held.
There may be reasons for this,
such as growers being busy doing
other important work, or maybe ev-
eryone has been well skilled in the
art of irrigation maintenance from
the excellent programs that NRM
representatives and PIRSA have
been involved in over recent years.
It is interesting, however, how
often stories of poorly maintained
irrigation systems seem to crop up.
Several viticulture advisers in
the region regularly report finding
such problems. For example, did
you know that a 20mm drip line
with a 1mm layer of algae or clay
deposit around the internal wall
has a reduction in diameter of 20
per cent from its design diameter?
Clearly, this will have major
implications when trying to irrigate
during heat waves or hot spells and
keep plants hydrated.
Systems that have not been
regularly maintained may not be
operating at their design output,
and so while a grower may believe
they are irrigating enough, this may
not be the case.
Crop yield and quality loss may
occur as a result. It is a good idea
to check that irrigation systems are
operating at design pressure before
the hot weather starts in earnest.
IN THE NEWS
Congratulations to Eric Sem-
mler and Ashley Ratcliff, who were
both named in the December
2014/January 2015 issue of Wine
Business Magazine in its Stars
Riverland Wine has some
copies available to give away.
If you would like one, please
contact our office by phone (8584
5816) or email (admin@riverland-
Riverland Wine wishes everyone
peace and happiness at Christmas
and throughout the New Year.
Our office is currently closed and
will reopen on Monday, January 5.
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