Home' The River News : January 14th 2015 Contents 8 - The River News, Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Citrus Australia - SA Regional Wrap
CITRUS TECHNICAL 2015 --
MARCH 16-17, MILDURA
Citrus growers and packers will have the
opportunity to discover the next big thing in tech-
nology and gain an insight into current research
projects at Citrus Technical 2015.
The two-day event, run by Citrus Australia, will
be a mix of sit-down presentations, workshops
and orchard demonstrations aimed specifically
at growers and packers.
Citrus Australia's market development man-
ager Andrew Harty said the event would provide
growers and packers with a glimpse into future
technologies and provide a platform for research-
ers to showcase their work.
"New technology is the lifeblood of any
primary industry, and the citrus industry is no
exception," he said.
"Unless we continue to invest in better ways
to grow, pack and market our products to the
world, we will get left behind.
"The format of the event will encourage
growers to participate in a setting they feel
"The forum will also include displays of new
equipment, products and services by commercial
companies and provide a great opportunity to
"A forum specifically for the packing sector
will cover new post-harvest technology and
The event will take place at the Mildura Arts
Centre. It is planned for the event to become a
fixture on the citrus industry calendar, and for it
to complement Citrus Australia's Market Outlook
Forum, which is held every other year.
The forum is expected to attract 300-plus
citrus industry representatives eager to learn,
meet and network with like-minded people.
The attendees will include growers, packers,
marketers, exporters, researchers, government
representatives, commercial providers and re-
Register your attendance now (visit www.
Various sponsorship opportunities for the
event are available, including exhibitor space for
those looking to establish or promote their com-
pany profile, launch a new product or service,
network and develop new partnerships, or join
delegates on the field trip events.
Interested in sponsoring this event? Down-
load the proposal online (www.citrusaustralia.
Your local CASAR committee will be sponsor-
ing a coach to this event.
We invite all South Australian citrus growers
and packers to join us -- please contact SA Citrus
IDO Sam Rogers for details on 0477 110 933.
NATIONAL TREE CENSUS/
EXPORT PROGRAMS 2015
Applications are now open for growers to
nominate orchards/blocks for export to Korea,
China, Thailand and Taiwan in the 2015 season.
The first step in the process will be for grow-
ers to complete a tree census form with Citrus
Australia and to nominate blocks for export to
Korea, China, Thailand and Taiwan (KCTT).
The new online system that links the KCTT
program with the national tree census has been
implemented as a result of difficulties experi-
enced in previous seasons. The system will:
Provide an earlier start to the export
Streamline the application process.
Remove the duplication that occurs from
year to year with the current paper-based system.
Provide real-time information on the status
of applications and audit outcomes.
How to enter the KCTT export program:
For growers: Complete the national tree
census and indicate your interest in the program.
If you are unsure how to do this, inquire via email
(email@example.com). You will be
given a user name and password to enter the
Please retain those details. After you com-
plete the tree census, you will receive an email
asking which blocks you would like to nominate
for the program.
Re-enter the system with your user name and
password. Nominate blocks, export markets and
packing house(s). This step must be completed
by growers by January 31, 2015.
Your packing house will receive an email
advising that you have nominated them as your
packer. Your packing house will now have access
to the system and will manage the application
from this point.
For packing houses: Packing houses for
KCTT and Japan export markets must register
with Citrus Australia (contactregistrations@citru-
saustralia.com.au) for a registration form.
Packing houses must have all blocks sur-
veyed by a registered crop monitor between
February 1-28. Registered crop monitors must
send the official survey report to packing houses
by February 28.
Packing houses must upload the official
survey report into the system by March 3.
Packing houses must upload an orchard map
into the system by March 3.
Packing houses must sign an electronic dec-
laration (in the system) that orchards have met
quarantine requirements by March 3.
Your application is now complete, and pack-
ing houses will receive confirmation by email.
The Department of Agriculture will contact
packing houses to audit some of the orchards/
blocks being nominated for export.
Once audits are complete, packing houses
will be notified of the progress of applications by
the Department of Agriculture.
NUTRITION FOR FRUIT SIZE
Nitrogen is important -- apply 25 per cent
of annual requirement (adjust for crop load)
throughout this period. High levels of nitrogen
Ensure adequate nitrogen levels for
carbohydrate reserves for next season's flower
initiation in winter.
Potassium is also important. Apply 30 per
cent of annual requirement after final fruit drop
stage in January/February.
Maintain good nitrogen/potassium ratios
Potassium: Potassium should be applied
during January and February after the final fruit
However, too much or too little potassium will
inhibit calcium uptake, therefore increasing the
likelihood of albedo breakdown.
Aim for leaf levels of 1 to 1.5 per cent. The
higher the nitrogen levels are, the higher the
potassium levels should be, to ensure that good
N:K (2:1) ratios are achieved. Potassium sprays
should occur in December, January, and Febru-
ary (3 per cent potassium nitrate depending on
historical leaf K levels).
Potassium is especially important from Feb-
Nitrogen: Aim to provide 25 per cent of the
annual nitrogen requirements. If you are broad-
casting, apply as a single dose in January. If you
are using fertigation, apply at monthly intervals
from January through to April.
It is important to be careful at this stage for
those varieties which you wish to harvest early,
as high nitrogen levels will delay maturity.
Applications should always be based on leaf
analysis and leaf colour.
Additional: Research from California shows
that foliar sprays of potassium phosphite in
November and January significantly improved
fruit size, even at optimum phosphorous and
potassium leaf levels.
South African growers use foliar sprays of
MAP (0.5 per cent) and potassium nitrate (3 to
4 per cent) in November and January to provide
phosphorous and potassium when demand is
A 20 CENT MIRACLE
WOULD BE GOOD
If the first week of 2015 is any-
thing to go by, we are in for another
year of challenge.
Prolonged heat, the threat of
heavy rains, indications of has-
tening maturity and no indication
of price relief for the majority of
producers are the topics on most
A miracle solution would be an
immediate increase of 20 cents per
bottle of wine to the growers.
If that were to happen, the relief
would be immense, not just for
growers, as the regional economy
would also be boosted by roughly
It would greatly ease the gap
between despair and confidence.
It would put a spring back into the
step of the entire community.
There is no doubt the $80 mil-
lion would be well and truly spent,
many times over and over. The
regional economy would benefit
enormously, to say nothing of the
flow-on effects for the SA economy.
If any industry prophet had
foretold, 10 years ago, that 2015
wine grape prices would plunge
to be the meanest in almost four
decades, there would not be much
of a Riverland wine industry left.
Thankfully there was no such
prophet and the Riverland wine in-
dustry is still positioned to be able
to make the next 'great escape'.
Back in 2005, as members
were about to experience drought
restrictions for the first time, there
was (blind) confidence that the
industry would pull through.
Hindsight now reveals how cru-
cial it is to get policy settings right.
The 'accelerated depreciation'
policy of the mid 1990s that ran
rampant for almost 10 years has
had an impact, not just in the Riv-
erland but throughout the industry.
The 'competition' policies that
have enabled major retailers to
drive primary producers beyond
the point of being sustainable are
threatening regional economies.
We hear suggestions from
some who should know better that
we should 'withhold supply'.
It will not happen. Nor will the
20 cent miracle.
The management committees
of Riverland Wine will try to develop
a position in relation to the policies
that are stifling progress towards
that extra 20 cents in the bottle.
That would mean the return to
growers from a bottle of wine would
skyrocket to about 46 cents.
When we stand back as a com-
munity and take a minute or two to
realise how much primary produc-
tion means to regional Australia, it
is hard to imagine too many wine
consumers would begrudge such
The national Wine Industry
Code of Conduct has been revised
to improve how wine grape price
disputes are resolved.
Developed jointly by the Wine-
makers' Federation of Australia
(WFA) and Wine Grape Growers
Australia (WGGA) in 2008, the up-
dated code comes into force in time
for the upcoming 2015 harvest.
WFA chief executive Paul Evans
said disagreements arose in some
transactions between winemakers
and wine grape growers from time
to time, and having disputation pro-
cedures in the code was a business
safeguard for both parties.
Mr Evans said disputes were
inevitable, but having a code of
practice with disputation process
would help parties resolve differ-
ences without necessarily having to
seek expensive legal advice.
"Where disputes do occur, the
code aims to resolve them as
quickly and as amicably as pos-
sible, and for this reason it makes
sense for all wine companies to
sign on to the code if they haven't
already done so," he said.
As part of a wide-ranging review
of the code this year, the WFA and
WGGA have agreed to extend the
time when a dispute over final
price can be mutually resolved from
14 to 60 days during the harvest
period. WGGA executive director
Lawrie Stanford said this extension
would allow growers, during the
busy harvest period, to effectively
mount and resolve a dispute.
Mr Stanford said it was hoped
all disputes would be kept to a
minimum this vintage.
"In the main, disputes tend to
occur around wine grape prices
or specifications of wine grape
maturity, purity or condition," he
said. "This results in either a price
adjustment or rejection of the
wine grapes which can lead to
sometimes lengthy and expensive
An up-to-date copy of the code is
available online (www.wineindus-
NOW IS THE TIME TO...
Determine the need for ad-
ditional control options from this
Time is fast running out to find
solutions to potential problems,
with chemical withholding periods
closing rapidly with the onset of
How did you fare with the
recent weather events?
Consult the CropWatch mes-
sage issued on January 6 for more
information of disease risk from
wet weather events at this time
Sustained rainfall and leaf wet-
ness can lead to various disease
concerns, and strategies must be
employed to determine if treatment
may be necessary.
There are various fact sheets
that have been written about each
disease, its life cycles, potential for
crop loss and treatment options.
Visit the AGWA website (http://
Continue to rigorously monitor
your vineyards. Stick your head into
the canopies and have a look and
a sniff to find out what is going on.
If something does not look or
smell right, or if you are unsure,
contact someone who might be
able to help you determine if there
is a problem.
Winery staff will help growers
produce clean fruit at harvest. It
makes better wine.
Do not hesitate to ask your GLO,
or other advisers if you do not have
a GLO. Risk of crop loss must be
weighed against the ability to use
various control options and the cost
of using them.
If you think you do not need
to spray any more, be kind to your
equipment and give it a thorough
clean out, wash down and protec-
tive coating (both inside and out)
before you put it into the shed.
A bit of TLC will help you look
after your significant investment
in this crucial piece of equipment.
Now is also the time to keep an
eye on the weather forecast.
Water vines up to help them
survive heat events, but be pre-
pared to wind them back down
again with cooler weather.
Excessive water in cooler condi-
tions may lead to reinvigoration
of vine canopies with new, fresh
growth becoming apparent, usu-
ally something to avoid at this time
Are you ready for harvest? Have
you liaised with your harvesters and
carriers? Are your tractors, forklifts,
trailers and loading bays all ready?
Preventative maintenance helps
keep things moving when you are
under the pressure to harvest in
Growers who would like
to receive CropWatch can con-
tact Riverland Wine by phone
(8584 5816) or email (admin@
DOZENS of Venturer Scouts enjoyed a camping trip
at Roonka, about 7km upstream from Blanchetown,
BLANCHETOWN hosted a horde of
adventurous teenagers as part of a recent
visit from more than 12000 Venturer Scouts
from across Australia and overseas.
The Scouts, aged 14 to 17, enjoyed a 12-day
schedule of activities in Adelaide and other parts
of South Australia from January 2-13.
Last week a group of 80 Scouts and eight lead-
ers camped at the water activity centre at Roonka,
about 7km upstream from Blanchetown.
Scouts have been camping at Roonka since the
early 1970s, with the public also welcome to enjoy
the river front location.
"The Venturers at Roonka had an amazing
time," said Michael Woodward, the man respon-
sible for co-ordinating 17 different expeditions for
the 12000 visitors.
"They all participated in an overnight canoe
trip to the lagoon upstream.
"They enjoyed the climbing wall, swimming,
ski biscuit, and river fun.
"They went gliding at Armstrong Airfield, the
Scout Gliding Centre.
"Aboriginal elders spoke to them at the nearby
historic Aboriginal reserve.
"They then joined the Venturers based at Lake
Bonney for a 'steampunk' ball at Cobdogla."
Scouts SA chief commissioner Chris Bates
added that the Riverland visit was "a heap of fun".
"The underlying personal growth these teenag-
ers have experienced over the five days will benefit
them for the rest of their lives," he said.
For more information about Venturer Scouts,
ACTIVITIES included a climbing wall -- along with
swimming, a ski biscuit and other fun on the River
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